University boosts Coleraine'housing market'says Lloyds

UNIVERSITIES can provide a significant boost to the local housing market, particularly when student numbers are rising, research has indicated.

Six out of 10 university towns across the UK have seen house price rises which have outstripped the gains made across their region as a whole during the past five years, according to high street bank Lloyds TSB.

The biggest price increases have been seen in towns that have seen a significant rise in their student population during the same period.

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Aberdeen has seen the biggest jump in house prices for a university town since 2005, with the average cost of a property rising by nearly 40% during the period.

The rise, which was more than double the 14% reported across the whole of Scotland, coincided with a 54% jump in the number of students studying in the city.

There has also been a 34% rise in house prices in Coleraine in Northern Ireland, where the University of Ulster has a campus, following a 30% jump in the town's student population.

House prices in Winchester have risen by 30% during the past five years, compared with an increase of just 2.5% across the whole of the South East, while student numbers in the town have soared by 78%.

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A similar pattern has been seen in Carmarthen in Wales, with house prices rising by 29% since 2005, compared with a 4.4% fall across the rest of Wales, while student numbers are 69% higher.

But the group said a rising student population did not always lead to strong house price gains.

Edinburgh has the eighth highest number of students in the UK, but house prices in the city have risen by only 11% during the past five years, under-performing the wider region.