Finding student accommodation in France
The search for student accommodation isn’t simple. What’s the state of the housing market in France? Which cities are the most expensive and which ones are the most affordable? What is the average surface of student dwellings? Studapart answers all these questions for you so you know everything surrounding student housing in France!
The state student housing market in France
The number of students is growing
Entering graduate studies is a milestone in students' lives. In 2019-2020, more than 2,700,000 students started their higher education course. This figure has been rising steadily since 2010, with an increase of around 1% each year in the number of students. This trend is expected to continue during 2020-2021 school year 2020-2021. Meaning approximately 2,750,000 students will be studying in France next year.
Several reasons explain this increase.
There are several reasons for this rising number of students. Courses in engineering, business and management are very popular. The number of students in these fields of study jumped by almost 5% in 2018. The number of students at universities in France has also increased by more than 3%, making a major contribution to the overall increase. In a larger sense, the 2000s baby boom led to an increase in the number of bachelor's degree holders who then became students, as 93% of bachelor's degree holders went on to pursue higher education. And ultimately, studies in France are appealing to more and more international students. In 2018, 343,000 students from all corners of the world chose to move to France for their studies. This figure is up 4.5% compare with 2017. International students make up for 15% of students in France.
There aren’t all necessarily on the look for student housing. 40% of students choose to stay in their family home, but they remain a minority. As a result, more than 1 600 000 students search for student accommodation each year in France.
Student housing in shortage
More and more students hit the student housing market every year. But unfortunately, the supply of student housing isn’t keeping pace. Available slots in the 1040 public student residences and CROUS residences are rare and quickly taken by storm. In some cities, there are 5 only five availabilities per 100 students. The national average isn’t much more encouraging: 8 places per 100 students.
In these conditions, students have to find alternatives to public student housing offers. 75% of students rather search among the private rental sector to find accommodation in France for their studies. The private rental stock has options such as rooms in private student residences, or studios rented by independent landlords. But no matter the kind of lessor, finding accommodation proves quite the challenge.
Besides the lack of housing, another phenomenon has to be taken into account: almost all students start searching at the same time. The months of July and August follow exam results and concentrate the majority of student housing searches. These two months of summer alone generated almost 40% of signups on Studapart in 2019.
Studapart’s aim is to deal with these issues by offering a seamless and fluid rental experience and a large number of accommodation options. Put the odds in your favor with Studapart and quickly find student accommodation that’s perfectly suited for your needs!
Avoid running short of housing offers with Studapart
In 2019, nearly 10,000 students found a place with Studapart. About 60% of them found accommodation in student residences. This number is increasing year after year. According to a Xerfi study, there were about 1000 private student residences in France in 2019, and this number is steadily increasing.
Projections predict there will be 300 more in France by 2025, which would amount to approximately 150,000 beds. The partnerships we build each year with an increasing number of residences allow to offer more and more student residences, often even before they are out on the market. Studapart also helped 4,000 students finding accommodation with private owners. Nearly 20,000 units of this kind rented by our community of 36,000 landlords were available on our platform in 2019.
Students search for several kinds of accommodation
Individual studios are the most popular dwellings
Offer of student housing is wide, and students may choose among several options. Most of them prefer to house in individual or one-room apartments. Such is the choice of 57% of students in 2018. It’s also the most common housing type that landlords offer. One-room apartments in student residences account for almost 70% of rooms in these buildings. Properties rented by private owners are also for the most part individual studios.
Unsurprisingly, most students prefer a furnished student studio to avoid further purchases and additional costs. Only 31% of individual apartments are rented unfurnished. Studapart is aware of this concern on the part of students. This is why 88% of apartments rented by private owners are furnished to answer the needs of our community of tenants.
Couples or flexible budgets turn to two-room apartments
When their budget allows it, some students might want more space in their student housing. Usually, the ones who choose bigger places are couples or people moving in with pets. In total, 12% of students choose a two-room apartment. Usually, this type of accommodation is rented by private owners. Indeed, it’s quite unusual to find two-room apartments in student residences. They make up for only 10% of the offer in student residences.
Homestays for tight budgets
Students are usually on a budget. To reduce the share represented by rent in their total expenses, 10% of students are glad to stay in a homestay. With this type of accommodation, tenants pay almost no service charges, and services like internet or electricity are often included. Homestays are a cost-effective solution. In addition to being inexpensive, renting a room at someone’s place is an opportunity for students to have social interaction, as they are regularly in contact with the family hosting him/her, sharing meals and moments of life. This obviously obviously works within the boundaries of certain rules of life, but it is a significant psychological relief for those who might need it.
Apartment sharing is increasingly popular
There are many advantages to sharing a flat with someone else. Although a little more expensive than a room in a private home, it is still much more affordable than individual student housing. In cities with fairly affordable rents such as Grenoble or Marseille, staying in a private home can only cost 250€. The rent for a room in a private home in Paris or Lyon can be limited to 500€ compared to more than 800€ for individual student housing.
The last housing option for students is to form a flatshare. Over 20% of students chose to live in a shared apartment in 2019. A figure that has been steadily increasing in the past years: 11% in 2015, 16% in 2017 and 21% in 2019.
There are many advantages to sharing a flat with roommates. Although a little more costly than a homeshare, it remains much more affordable than individual student housing. In cities where rents are fairly affordable such as Grenoble or Marseille, staying in a homestay can be as cheap as €250. In comparison, a homestay in Paris would cost around €500, while renting an entire home would go up to €800.
Students also have more room in flatshares since the living room, kitchen and bathroom are shared. The price per m² for this type of student rental is therefore very attractive.
Flat sharing also allows for very rapid social integration. And Service charges as well as some household expenses are usually divided between tenants, alleviating their budget.
Student rent in France
Individual student housing is the most expensive
A student’s rent of course depends on the type of student housing he or she occupies. A room in a homestay remains the most cost-effective option, with an average rent of €393. Shared accommodation isn’t much more expensive, with an average rent of €435. An individual student apartment is about 20-30% more expensive. The average rent for this type of student accommodation is around €501 with private owners, and €571 in private student residences. For bigger surfaces, students will have to plan a plan a larger budget. For a two-room apartment, the average rent climbs to €650. It should be noted that all these rents include service charges but these might vary greatly depending on the type of accommodation and the type of landlord. For example, the rent in a private student residence is more expensive but often includes electricity and internet. Which isn’t always the case for accommodation rented by private owners. A private student residence also usually offers services that make life easier and even reduce expenses. Some of them provide tenants with fitness rooms that prevent students from having to pay for a membership in a traditional gym. In certain residences, there might be catering facilities where you can have a meal at lower costs. A weekly cleaning service is also usually included. Not all of these services are available in individual apartments rented by private owners. This explains the difference in rent between these two kinds of landlords.
A handful of attractive cities are concentrating demand
Some cities are particularly attractive to students. Students may choose a city over another for various reasons. Some cities stand out in terms of quality of education. Such is the case for Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux. The majority of France’s most renowned colleges are located in these cities. Examples include the famous HEC Paris, EM Lyon, Science Po Lille and Science Po Bordeaux, who are partners with Studapart. These large cities host a large number of students each year, but other cities are also on the rise. In Rennes, Nantes and Grenoble, the number of students skyrocketed, increasing by 20 to 40% over the last decade. These smaller towns offer a more pleasant living environment than large cities. They have also been able to attract numerous schools, offering courses of similar quality to those found in the top-ranked schools and universities. Such is the case of Audencia in Nantes, which has established itself among the best business schools in France.
But whether they are metropolises or fast-growing provincial cities, they all have one thing in common. The economic activity of these cities generates a lot of employment. Businesses and schools also interact closely there, more than anywhere else. Integration of graduate students into the labour market is therefore much easier there. For 92% of students, this factor is among their main criteria for choosing their city of study. It is another important explanation for the attractiveness of these cities.
The rent is very different from city to city
Most students search exclusively in a restrained selection of cities. Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux alone generated nearly 30% of requests for student housing in France. High demand, little supply: this equation explains an increase in rents in these cities. In addition, the offer of public CROUS housing units in Paris and in Lyon aren’t aligned with the number of requests. This is causing rents to soar in these cities, where the market is already very tight. Rents for student housing have jumped by 5% in Paris and 3% in Lyon, resulting in rents higher than the national average. For a student apartment, you have to plan a monthly rent of between 800 and €900 in Paris and around €700 in Lyon.
The close suburbs are always much cheaper. In Massy, Talence or Villeurbanne, rent is 10 to 20% cheaper than in the neighbouring large city. But you have to add the cost of public transport and a less convenient daily life, so living in the suburbs isn’t always the miracle solution.
On the other hand, rent for student housing is more affordable in smaller but no less attractive cities. Some are trying to deal with the imbalance between supply and demand by developing the public and private rental stock. The CROUS in Nice and in Montpellier are rather well provided with student housing and contribute to alleviate the shortage. Rents in these cities therefore tend to be stable or even decrease thanks to the construction of private residences. It is possible to live in a student apartment for less than €550, even though these Mediterranean cities are very much in demand and the provincial average is around €520.
Finally, some cities stand out by a particularly high number of shared flats. This is the case in Nantes. 35% of students choose to share accommodation, which is almost as much as those who choose individual studios among the different kinds of student accommodation.
Student budget and things to keep in mind
Rent does not always influence budget
Generally, most of a student’s budget is allocated to paying rent. Therefore, it depends on the kind of accommodation and city of residence. But geographical differences, again, are to be taken into account. In some cities, a student’s budget for housing will be close to the average rent in the city. This is the sign of a very tense market, where tenants have little flexibility for their student rental. Such is the case in Paris and Bordeaux, for example. In the capital, a student’s budget for rent is €865 for an average rent of around €800. In other cities, on the other hand, budget for student housing is much higher than the average rent in the city. It takes about 500€ to find accommodation in Grenoble, whereas students have a budget exceeding 560€. The market is therefore more dynamic. Supply and demand are more balanced and it is easier to find accommodation.
Careful of rental charges increasing the bill
When looking for a student rental, don’t let yourself be surprised by unexpected service charges. These rental costs are diverse, ranging from internet to hot water, electricity and heating fees. They add up to the rend set by the landlord. It isn’t always simple to identify charges that are payable by the tenant and those payable by the landlord, but Studapart can help you out with that here.
Housing allowances alleviate the load for student
Between the cost of education, rent and daily expenses, a student's budget is often under strain. Students can benefit from housing aid, notably from the CAF. They are mainly of 3 types: APL, ALS and ALF. Personalized Housing Assistance is the most common. To benefit from the allowances for a student housing requires to carry out a simulation of student housing allowance on the CAF website. It is also necessary to compile a rental file for which Studapart can help you. This allows CAF to make the best possible estimate for student housing allowances.
With the cost of education, rent and daily expense, student’s budget get very tight. Students can benefit from financial aids distributed by the CAF. There a 3 kind of housing allowances: the APL, the ALS and the ALF. The most common is the APL, basically standing for personalized housing welfare. To find out the amount of your housing allowance, you have to carry out a simulation on the CAF’s website. You also have to put up a rental application file, that Studapart can help you with. This allows the CAF to make a precise estimate for your housing allowances.
Different steps to finding a student accommodation in France
Conducting an efficient search
As you can see, finding student housing is not an easy task. However, there are a few good practices that can help you put the odds in your favor. You should already be aware of the state of the market in the city you are looking searching. Confronting your budget with the reality of stock allows you to avoid disappointments. There is no miracle cure. Studapart remains the best choice to find your student accommodation since you are taken care of throughout the entire renting process. However, other student rental sites may offer access to certain types of accommodation. This is the case for sites that advertise from one individual to another, such as Leboncoin.fr and SeLoger.fr. Facebook can also be used to find a roommate.
Communicating with the landlord
Once you’ve found property that catches your eye, the next step is getting in touch with the landlord. Regardless of the type of landlord, firsts impressions are the most important.
In most cases, explaining your situation, why you’re moving, and showing interest for the place is a good way to convince the landlord to rent you his property.
Building up your rental application
Once contact with the landlord is established, the rental process can begin. Dialogue between the landlord and you allows to define the outlines of the lease. Studapart can assist you by supervising these exchanges and taking charge of building up your application. A significant time saver, and a good way to avoid stress that comes with any search for accommodation.
Finding a guarantor
Landlords pay careful attention to financial guarantees when renting their property. So finding a guarantor is an essential part of the search for student housing. Most of the time, students have a member of their family as a guarantor. 89% of students find a guarantor in their family, while only 3% of them ask a friend to vouch for them.
In case no member of the family can act as a guarantor, alternatives exist. 5% of students turn to state mechanisms for their guarantor. Visale and Action Logement are an example.
The Studapart Certification can also be of use to international students. It helps inspiring trust in landlords with no effort, and allows to rent any home on the platform.