Why students are having trouble finding housing after university – and tips to help

Why students in the UK are having trouble finding housing after university - and three top tips to help

Adam Murphy and Jo Lennon framed next to each other
Pictured are former student Adam Murphy and current student Jo Lennon, who have been struggling to find housing after university. Credit: Leah Marshall / Jo Lennon

On Friday, Parliament published a research briefing that addressed the under-supply of housing in England – but one group struggling most with housing issues is recent graduates from university.

Many students across the UK are finding themselves stressed at the prospect of finding a house once they graduate – and this isn’t purely due to a lack of money.

Third year history student, Jo Lennon, talked about their struggles in finding somewhere to live when they graduate.

A picture of Jo, sat at a table and reading a book
Jo Lennon will be staying at their family home for the foreseeable future. Photo: Jo Lennon

“If I were to get a flat now, I would barely be able to make rent and buy food, while having to share the building with other people without a solid chance of advancing my position.

“That’s also not accounting for travel costs, whether I’m injured or have a mental breakdown or if I want to get a car, not to mention doing the things that I enjoy doing.

“Ultimately, I’m not getting a flat now. I honestly don’t even consider it an option, and fully expect to live at home to and try and save up, despite my dissatisfaction and desire to move out.”

This isn’t a new problem either; Adam Murphy, who graduated in 2021 with a BA in accounting and finance, talked about his own failure to find a place of his own to live.

A picture of Adam, stood in front of a blank background and smiling. Credit: Johnathan Cowden
Despite having graduated two years ago, Adam Murphy has still not found a place to live. Credit: Leah Marshall

“Finding a place to live after university was an absolute nightmare.

“I was confronted with a seemingly insurmountable challenge of navigating through endless listings, exorbitant rents, and a barrage of rejections.

“It felt like I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of disappointment and frustration. Every rejection letter chipped away at my confidence and left me questioning my prospects.

“The experience took a toll on both my mental and emotional well-being. It was a harsh wake-up call to the realities of the post-university housing market, dampening my once-optimistic spirit, and replacing it with a sense of overwhelming despair.”

The cost-of-living crisis shows no sign of ending anytime soon, so if you’re a student who’s struggling with somewhere to live after university, here’s three quick tips to help you out:

1) Start your search as soon as you can.

There’ll be a big influx of people looking for somewhere to live once the university year ends, so if you’re ahead of the curve, you’re more likely to get somewhere good.

2) Don’t look all in one place.

If you look on multiple sites and from multiple sources, you may find somewhere that hasn’t been posted everywhere: somewhere others might miss.

3) Think outside the box.

If you’ve only been looking for a house, consider alternative arrangements. Maybe you could live in a flat, or an apartment building?

What’s most important is to stay positive, and don’t give up, even if you don’t find somewhere straight away.