YORK has been named as one of the best university cities in the UK to buy student accommodation.

A London property specialist says York offers some of the best prospects for those looking to invest in student accommodation in terms of the growth in house prices, rent charges, and average cost.

The city is rated as having the sixth best investment potential in the UK, behind Edinburgh, Bristol, Brighton, Reading and Oxford, according to real estate agent, Chestertons.

Daniel Killick, from Chestertons, said: “Student lets are generally seen as a great investment; there will always be a reliable level of demand and universities can often be really helpful in pointing students your way. Some locations, however, offer a better return than others. We were keen to get some deeper insights into the UK’s student property market and understand where the most attractive prospects are – and the ones that are less likely to pay off.”

Cambridge, St Andrews, Southampton and Warwick are placed in the top ten behind York.

Aberystwyth, Liverpool and Lancaster came out as the least beneficial investments, owing to more affordable rents and slower house price growth.

However, there are concerns in York that buying up residential properties for students is adding to the city’s housing problems.

In June, The Press reported how councillors have been urged to tighten the rules on converting family homes into shared houses as York faces an escalating housing shortage.

The draft Local Plan sets out how many new homes York needs between now and 2032, and earmarks the land they should be built on.

One councillor warned against letting the much-needed new homes be converted into Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).

Cllr Mark Warters, who represents Osbaldwick, said that unless the city tightened HMO licensing rules, as much as 20 per cent of the new housing could disappear “just like that”.

He called for a review of the rules and the thresholds for how many HMOs are allowed in certain areas, and said the draft plan should take account of the number of student accommodation complexes built in recent years or under construction.

These student complexes lessen the demand on privately-rented housing. However, last year, York Conservation Trust spoke of concerns that student accommodation blocks springing up in York city centre are rapidly changing its character.