School and college leavers are just weeks away from receiving their A-level results and in turn discovering whether or not they will be taking up a place at either of Newcastle’s two universities.
The city’s student population has seen a huge growth in recent years. In 2015 Newcastle University had 70% more students than in 2000, with 21, 000 compared to 12, 302.
In the same period Northumbria University’s roll increased by 114% to 27, 800.
To cater for this, high-spec student developments sprung up across the city centre.
Many are far from the stereotypical student digs - with perks like gyms and cleaners becoming standard. But the move upmarket is reflected in rent prices. Some cost more than £150 a week.
Planners say rooms are getting posher because restrictions on multiple occupancy homes are tighter, but the result is accommodation which is beyond the means of many.
Often, the annual rent leaves little or no change from the average student loan of £8, 200 a year.
But don’t fret, there are more affordable options.
The best value comes in house shares. Renting your own place - even a modest studio - can be quite expensive. Socially, especially for first year students, it may be best to apply for official university accommodation, as this means you are most likely to be living with people who you will studying alongside during your entire stint in the city.
Masters students - less concerned with finding long term house mates - may be better placed entering the private market.
Living outside the city centre is cheaper, but you will have to factor in transport costs, though Newcastle is easy to walk around. None of the city’s traditional student areas are more than two miles from campus. Students benefit from discounted bus and Metro tickets.
Budget: £40 - £60 a weekGuildford Place in Heaton
It is possible to rent a room in Heaton - one of Newcastle’s most popular student districts - for around £50 a week.
This would normally mean joining an existing flat share - which may or may not be with other students.
A browse on letting site Spare Room comes up with cheap rooms in Heaton, which is between one and two miles from the universities but has excellent bus and Metro links. Typically, at this price, it will not include bills, but some may have wifi as standard.
Another option for budget renters is Fenham, in Newcastle’s West End. There’s no Metro link here but there are plenty buses and it is an easy walk into the city centre.
For a budget of £50 a week (excluding bills), you can get a double room in a house share. On Spare Room you can find rooms in multiple occupancy homes for around £200 a month in Fenham and other parts of Newcastle’s West End.
£60-70 a week
Northumbria students on this budget can afford one of their university’s student halls.
Claude Gibb Hall, in the city centre, has rooms for £69.30 a week.
A bigger budget opens up a lot more options in Heaton and Fenham. The main difference is there are more properties to choose from, with fewer rooms in each house - so that’s less strain on the kitchen and a shorter shower queue.
For £60 a week can get you a room in Parrish Court, a student development in Shields Road, Byker, which is close to Heaton and has good access to Metros. The accommodation is staffed 24 hours a day, has CCTV coverage, and includes bills. Each flat has between five and six rooms.
Occasionally, rooms in Jesmond - an upmarket part of town which is popular with students - pop up for around £230-260 a month, without bills. But you tend to get less for your money in Newcastle’s posher areas.
Another option is Sandyford, which is close to Jesmond, Heaton and the city centre. For around £65 to £70 a week you should be able to rent a room.
£70-£90 a weekNewcastle University
Newcastle University students can apply to stay at the £83.30 a week St Mary’s College, in Fenham with bills included.
For Northumbria University students, both Lovaine Hall and Lovaine Flats, in the city centre, cost £73.50 a week. Here groups of students share open-plan kitchens, while each room has a washing basin.
Again, more money means you can afford better rooms in any of Newcastle’s student districts, often with bills included. That takes the hassle out and eliminates the chance of arguments between tenants when you get that shock winter gas bill.
Those wanting to live in the city centre will probably need to shell out a bit more.
£90 - £100 a week
Newcastle University students who can afford to spend up to £100 a week can stay in Castle Leazes. It is close to campus and more than 1, 000 people live there. A self-catered room - with a wash basin, shared kitchen and bathroom - costs £99.33 a week.
Northumbria students can live in the city centre’s Stephenson Building for £98 a week. It has single rooms in self-catered shared flats. Bills are included and there is a games room.