Manor Interiors, the expert in build-to-rent furnishing solutions, has revealed how much the average student has to spend to furnish an unfurnished home and examined how much can be saved by renting a fully furnished home in some of the UK’s biggest university towns.
The decision between renting a furnished or unfurnished home is one familiar to the majority of students. And while furnished homes offer superior ease and convenience, the more affordable rent prices offered by unfurnished homes often tips the scales.
However, while the monthly rent bills may be cheaper, an unfurnished flat comes with the obvious additional cost of kitting it out with furniture, a task that Manor Interiors has calculated costs the average student £1,796.
This additional expenditure raises the question of whether opting to rent an unfurnished home is actually a good way of saving money, or whether it ends up being the more expensive option.
To examine the question more closely, Manor Interiors has analysed the rent prices for furnished flats in some of the UK’s most popular university towns and measured them against the cost of equipping an unfurnished home.
In Cardiff, the average rent price is £746 per month. The premium for a fully furnished rental is an average of 7%. This equates to an additional cost of around £52 a week, or £627 a year, to rent a furnished home instead of an unfurnished home.
When this is measured against the cost of kitting out an unfurnished home (£1,796), it transpires that renting a fully-furnished flat is actually the more affordable option, saving each Cardiff student an average of £1,169.
In Coventry, the premium for a furnished flat is 15%, a figure which equates to £1,283 a year. Compared to the average cost of furnishing a home, this is a saving of £513 a year.
In Edinburgh, a premium of 10% makes furnished homes an average of £1,320 a year more expensive. When measured against the cost of furnishing a home, this is a saving of £476 a year.
In Glasgow, fully furnished homes bring a saving of £391 a year; in Newcastle, the saving is £378 a year, in Manchester it’s £288, and in Sheffield, it’s £166.
Even in London, Leeds, and Birmingham where furnished homes bring a premium of more that £1,700 a year, when compared to the average cost of kitting out a home, there are still annual savings of £43, £29, and £13 respectively each year.
As for the availability of fully furnished rented homes, Manor Interiors has studied the current rental markets in major university towns to discover what percentage of them are fully furnished. At the top of the table is Edinburgh where 94% of the rental homes currently on the market are fully furnished.
In Coventry, 92% of the market is fully furnished; in Birmingham and Newcastle, it’s 91%; in Leeds it’s 89%; Cardiff 88%; and Sheffield 84% of the rental market is fully furnished.
CEO of Manor Interiors, Farhan Malik, commented:
“Students want ease and convenience when moving into a new home – they don’t want to have to bother going out and buying all of the furniture they require, especially if they’re only planning on being in the home for a year, or maybe two.
“But they also don’t want to spend unnecessary money, which means they’re often tempted by what seems like the cheaper option of unfurnished homes.
“This data tells us that, over the course of a year, it’s actually cheaper, sometimes much cheaper, to opt for a fully furnished home.
“Even if you live in Birmingham where the average saving of £13 a year seems insignificant – many of us have been students before, and by the end of the year, an additional £13 in the current account is actually a pretty big deal, it’s a night in the pub, for example.
“Furthermore, when it comes to moving out of shared student housing, having to dismantle and move all of that furniture you’ve brought can be a real pain, especially if it was purchased as a household of people now going their separate ways.”