Back to school: here is the ranking of the most expensive French cities for accommodation

€ 550.92. This is what a student will have to pay, on average, for housing in 2021, according to thesurvey by the National Union of Students of France (Unef), published this Wednesday, August 18. The price of rents thus increases by 2% compared to last year.

Depending on the city, the cost of housing varies: it amounts to € 674.30 on average in Ile-de-France against 499.95 € in the regions, according to another study carried out by the Federation of General Student Associations (Fage) and published on August 16.

“Between quantitative tension in many university towns and a constant rise in rental costs, this makes access to housing a real societal problem”, worries the Fage in his newsletter. Rent is indeed the first item of expenditure for students who devote between 50% and 60% of their budget to it.

The cities of Ile-de-France are overpriced for students

Ile-de-France is the region that captures the most students: nearly a third of the 2,700,000 higher education students live there, according to the2018-2019 regional atlas of student numbers of the Ministry of National Education.

The region also has the most expensive rents: € 850 on average per month at Paris, according to the UNEF and € 674 on average over the whole of Ile-de-France for accommodation of less than 30 m2, according to Fage.

Outside the Paris region, you have to pay more than 450 € for less than 30 m2 in half of the student towns. The cost of this type of accommodation is the highest at Annecy (726 €), then come Nice (659 €) and Lyon (619 €). Bordeaux ranks fourth most expensive city with an average rent of € 613, followed by Montpellier and its 584 € monthly.

Note: the UNEF has published its own ranking of university towns according to the cost of rent. The two organizations used LocService data but did not choose to compare the same cities using the same method.

Nice therefore ranks first most expensive city (623 €) after the cities of the Paris region for the Unef, followed by Lyon (580 €) andAix en Provence (563 €). Marseille ranks fifth (€ 515), after Bordeaux (€ 561). Limoges (357 €) is the third cheapest city in this ranking, neck and neck with Poitiers (356 €) and Le Mans (353 €).

Rents up to € 161 more expensive than five years ago

Compared to last year, the cost of rents is still falling in eight cities, including Saint-Étienne where the cost of a studio has fallen by 73 €, Brest (- € 36) or Le Mans (- € 26).

For its part, the UNEF indicates that rents in the capital fell by 3.95% in 2021. A drop driven by the regulation of Parisian rents since 2019.

But if we observe the evolution of prices over five years, student rent does not decrease until Chambéry. It reached € 490 compared to € 464 in 2016, a decrease of € 26.

The four most affordable cities have remained unbeatable in the Fage ranking since 2016: Poitiers and Saint Etienne in third position (€ 373), ahead of Brest (€ 369) and Limoges (€ 363). If the Limousin city remains the cheapest in France for students, the cost of accommodation has nevertheless increased by nearly € 50 since 2016.

An increase without comparison with that of Annecy. The city saw its rents increase by 161 €. A hundred euros increase also for La Rochelle and Bordeaux.

Measures to facilitate access to housing for students

In addition to rents, housing insurance is added to the student budget, which has increased by 3% in the regions and 8% in Ile-de-France, as well as agency fees.

To alleviate the difficulties of access to housing for students, their unions are asking for the generalization of rent control in all university towns. Besides Paris, only a few cities like Bordeaux, Lille and Lyon already regulate the prices charged by owners.

For UNEF, personalized housing assistance is also a priority. The union is demanding a “Better geographic criteria according to the cost of housing in the different cities”. This aid has been the subject of several reforms : in 2019, with the deindexation of the evolution of rents and, in January 2021, with the change in their calculation method.

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