Student's Guide to Affordable Apartments in… | Newcastle Apartments
26 October 2023

Student's Guide to Affordable Apartments in Newcastle


Finding affordable yet comfortable student housing is a top priority when relocating to Newcastle for university. But navigating the city’s housing market presents challenges for newcomers unfamiliar with the best areas and accommodation types.

There’s been a rise in luxury student accommodation in Newcastle. This guide provides insider knowledge to help students secure quality, budget-friendly housing options. Learn how to optimise costs through strategic choices on locations, flatmates, amenities and more. You’ll find your perfect apartment in Newcastle in no time!

Expert tips also help stretch funds on leisure and day-to-day living while settling into your new home city. You’ll be ready to make start making your student apartment into a Newcastle home. Arm yourself with local insights to upgrade your student experience, even on a tight budget.


Understanding the Housing Market in Newcastle

Overview of Housing Market

Navigating Newcastle’s property market might be daunting to start with. You’ll find Newcastle has a vibrant housing market driven largely by its sizable student population. With nearly 50,000 students across its two major universities, demand for student housing is exceptionally high.

This has led to steadily rising rental prices over the past decade, especially in areas within walking distance to Newcastle and Northumbria universities. There are two options for Student housing in Newcastle: halls vs private lettings. While purpose-built student halls offer conveniences like gyms, social spaces, and organised events, many students opt for private lettings to secure more privacy, independence, and a true home-away-from-home experience.

The massive influx of students each autumn also heavily impacts housing costs for non-students in certain areas, making popular spots around the universities much pricier.

For students, the decision between student halls and private lettings comes down to budget, priorities and lifestyle. Halls provide a built-in social scene with flats of fellow students and proximity right on campus. But they can feel restricted by curfews, rules, and shared bathrooms.

Private lets give you more freedom and responsibilities akin to "real world" renting. While it takes more effort to meet people, you can choose your own flatmates. Private flats also enable you to live like a true local. Consider looking at Newcastle renting statistics, facts and figures to get a better idea of the rental market.

Affordable Areas in Newcastle

Several areas situated near universities provide relatively affordable yet high-quality housing options for students needing to watch their budgets. Here are some insider tips for finding affordable student housing in Newcastle.

Jesmond, Heaton, and Sandyford are all highly popular neighbourhoods for their proximity to Newcastle University while still offering an abundance of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and convenience stores. Being able to walk or bike to campus is a major perk.

Other areas like Fenham, Arthurs Hill, and Elswick are a little further out from the city centre but provide cheaper rents and a true local Geordie community feel. Having quick access to metro stations is key for easy transit access to campus and downtown.

As a guide to finding affordable apartments in Newcastle, you’ll find these outer neighbourhoods give a quieter experience while still ensuring you can get to class and events quickly.

Average Costs of Living

Average monthly rents range from £400-600 for shared apartments and studios in many of the most affordable areas. Individual en suite rooms in student halls tend to start around £600-700.

Places closer to the central campus easily surpass £700 per month. On top of rent, bills add about £100-150 per person for things like council tax, internet, electricity and heat. You might want to consider how you can make your Newcastle apartment more energy-efficient.

A student metro pass costs £33.80 monthly for unlimited travel, making getting around very affordable. Basic grocery needs generally run £150-200 per person monthly depending on shopping habits.

Takeout, nights out, and other extras can quickly add up. Overall, expect average living costs of around £800-1000 per month as a student in Newcastle, depending on housing choices, transportation needs, and lifestyle.

Controlling housing and transit costs is the key to surviving on a tight student budget!

Piggy bank budgeting

Affordable Housing Areas in Newcastle

Benefits of Affordable Areas

Trying to find an apartment in Newcastle city centre? Opting for affordable areas in Newcastle provides major benefits for those needing to balance their budgets as a student renter. With rents typically 15-25% cheaper compared to pricier postcodes nearer to campus, students can reap significant savings over the course of a degree.

Places like Fenham, Westerhope, and Arthurs Hill have quick metro access to both Newcastle and Northumbria, making the commute very manageable.

While these areas are further from the city centre, everyday conveniences can still be found like small grocery stores, cafes, takeaways, and pubs. They may not offer the abundance of nightlife and entertainment of livelier hoods, but basic needs are still met.

These communities also provide a true local Geordie vibe, helping students feel at home and integrating into the city's culture.

Drawbacks of Affordable Areas

The main drawback of affordable areas is the distance from the central campus and the city centre. While the metro system bridges the gap nicely, journeys still take 10-20 minutes each way versus just walking from somewhere like Jesmond. Some affordable areas also have fewer amenities and entertainment/dining options compared to pricier student hotspots.

Takeaways may replace trendy cafes and pubs standing in for bustling bars and clubs. But for many budget-conscious students, the cheaper rents outweigh these factors. There are so many tips to ensure a smooth move to your Newcastle apartment.

Accommodation Types in Affordable Areas

Affordable areas offer a range of student accommodation types suitable for different budgets and priorities. A guide to shared housing – expect to share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. Shared houses with rooms rented individually are very common.

These split costs nicely while providing a readymade social environment. Basic halls of residence run by universities are also found at lower price points in these neighbourhoods.

Newer private student apartment developments are emerging as well, providing smartly designed studio apartments and en suites with contemporary furnishings and amenities. There are ways you can maximise your space in a Newcastle studio apartment.

These provide a happy medium between costly city centre complexes and ultra-budget digs. Rents are still mid-range but the quality is high.

Types of Student Accommodations

Here’s a guide to student accommodation in Newcastle which we hope will help you in your search.

Halls of Residence

Opting to live in a university-run hall of residence offers major social perks through built-in communities and organised events. The lively atmosphere with flats of fellow students makes bonding easy but can also breed disruption.

Opting for a private en-suite room provides more privacy. Noise issues are common in halls and the strict rules may change for some students. While convenient for first years, the constant partying isn't for everyone.

Basic accommodations in no-frills halls start around £90-120 per week. Catered packages in more modern complexes with gyms and common rooms go above £150 weekly. These catered options reduce food costs but lock you into meal times.

Overall, halls provide an easy transition into university life but some upper years crave more freedom.

Private Student Accommodation

Modern, purpose-built private student accommodation blocks provide private studios and en suites with stylish furnishings, fast internet, and on-site amenities. Think about what essential amenities you will need. While often more expensive than basic halls, the privacy, facilities like gyms and study rooms, and overall quality justify higher costs for many. If you want to opt for a cheaper option, there are many ways you can stay fit in Newcastle without a gym membership.

Expect to pay roughly £600-800 monthly for a comfortable private ensuite apartment in newer complexes.

These almost hotel-like accommodations are perfect for students who can afford the premium. The privacy reduces noise versus halls and with the flats of other students, socialising is still easy. While pricier, having a stylish, modern studio apartment to call home can be worth it.

Shared Student Houses and Co-City Living

Sharing a regular house with friends or randomly allocated housemates split costs nicely while fuelling independence and fun. Students appreciate having their own bedroom while sharing kitchen, lounge and bathroom spaces.

As an emerging trend, Co-city Living combines private ensuite rooms with trendy shared spaces and organised events.

For students craving socialisation with a bit more privacy than noisy halls, Co-City flats offer the best of both worlds. Rents are mid-range from £500-700 monthly but the private bedroom is key.

Having organised activities from pub crawls to movie nights counters the isolation some feel in full independent housing.

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Budgeting for Student Accommodation

Monthly Budget Planning

Creating a realistic monthly budget is essential for students to avoid financial stress when transitioning to independent living. When tallying income, be realistic about earning potential from loans, family support and a part-time job. If you are looking at how to survive your first year in a Newcastle apartment, keep in mind that first years often overestimate their income sources, so be conservative if new to budgeting on your own.

Thoroughly account for fixed living expenses like rent and utility bills. You will need to know how to navigate a rent increase if it happens. Use online cost-of-living guides tailored to Newcastle to estimate realistic costs for your student housing utilities, groceries, transit and other basics. Many underestimate these costs. There are ways to save money on your Newcastle apartment utilities, so keep this in mind.

Budget discretionary funds for dining out, entertainment and more. Mint and your university's money management guides can optimise your plan. Distinguishing between needs and wants is vital.

Also, anticipate occasional unexpected costs. Budgeting some savings for emergencies prevents desperate borrowing if your laptop breaks or you need urgent travel home. Many universities offer budgeting workshops specifically tailored to students.

Attending these and other financial literacy events on campus helps ensure you make the most of your loans and scarce funds.

Managing Living Expenses

Sticking to a tight student budget requires diligently managing daily costs that quickly add up. Buying store-brand groceries, cooking simple meals in bulk, and limiting takeaways controls food costs.

Walk, bike or bus when possible, and use discounted transit passes to save on transportation. Pursue free or low-cost hobbies like gaming, reading or exercising.

An occasional night out is fine, but limiting shopping trips, club nights and restaurant splurges keeps leisure costs contained. Small daily savings choices make a big difference over time in staying within budget.

Many universities offer free cooking classes and budget-friendly social events to help improve students' financial skills and reduce isolation. Making use of these can stretch your budget wisely.

Check if your school hosts free financial literacy workshops on maximising resources. Attending these events helps create good habits for managing expenses both during university and adulthood.

Financial Aid and Support

If constructing a bare-bones budget still does not balance income and expenses, financial aid and part-time work can help bridge gaps.

Students truly struggling to make ends meet can apply for university bursaries, hardship grants, and government maintenance allowances based on need.

Academic, sports, music, extracurricular and access-focused scholarships also help reduce reliance on loans.

The university’s job portal, local listings sites, and community boards often list ample part-time gigs like retail, hospitality, childcare, tutoring or freelancing that can accommodate a student schedule.

Working just 8-10 hours per week, ideally on campus, provides an invaluable cash flow boost without compromising studies. Don't be afraid to utilise these financial aid and job options when budgeting falls short. The key is maximising all potential resources.

Tips to Save on Rent in Newcastle

Sharing Accommodation

Sharing a house or flat with other students is proven to substantially reduce housing costs. Opting to rent a bedroom in a shared house instead of an entire costly studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment saves considerably on rent.

Splitting bills for Wi-Fi, electricity, heat and more with housemates also reduces living expenses month to month. Having built-in flatmates provides natural social interaction and accountability too.

To ensure a positive experience, coordinate chore schedules fairly via a roommate agreement. Schedule regular house meetings to address any issues early before they escalate.

Compromising on having your own dedicated space is often worthwhile given the significant rental savings from splitting costs. Services like Studentpad connect you with reliable, vetted housemates to improve compatibility.

Negotiating Rent and Understanding Leases

Students should not fear negotiating rent prices with a Newcastle letting agent, particularly when taking over a property partway through an existing fixed-term lease. There are things you need to look for in a Newcastle letting agent. Landlords often prefer a slight rent reduction over losing weeks or months of payments from vacancy.

Before signing, make sure you understand your rental rights. Carefully scrutinise leases to avoid hidden fees and fully understand policies on guests, maintenance requests, amenities, utilities and more.

Ask about discounts for prepaying multiple months' rent upfront or bonuses for referring new tenants. Consistently paying rent and utilities on time each month puts you in good standing to request future negotiations.

Landlords want stable, reliable tenants. Demonstrating that gives you leverage when budgeting gets tight. You will be required to pay a deposit at the start but can get your full deposit back at the end of your tenancy in Newcastle.

Choosing Cost-effective Areas

Opting to live in areas like Heaton, Fenham, Sandyford, Walker or Westerhope often provides major rental savings versus pricier neighbourhoods like Jesmond adjacent to campus. Rooms in these farther-flung areas can easily be rented for 15-25% less on average. You'll also spend less on nights out, shopping and dining in these more residential communities versus student party hot spots.

Finding the perfect off-campus housing in Newcastle can be made easier by using Facebook groups and local property listing sites to provide helpful insight on locating the best deals around the city. Choosing an affordable yet commute-friendly location over proximity yields substantial savings that really add up over the course of your degree.

Consider total costs, not just rent rates, when choosing where to live.

Newcastle city centre streets

Engaging in Cost-Efficient Leisure Activities

Budget-Friendly Leisure Venues

Newcastle offers abundant cost-friendly leisure options for students on a budget. The city boasts numerous free museums and galleries like the Laing Art Gallery, Discovery Museum, and Great North Museum.

Outdoor pursuits like hiking at Exhibition Park, rock climbing at Northumberlandia, and free workout classes on Jesmond Beach offer fun without charge.

The best student hotspots in Newcastle offer daily drink specials, happy hours, and cheap bar bites menus perfect for students watching their wallets. Catching open mic nights and local music gigs for under £10 at underground venues like Think Tank and Trillians provides affordable nightlife too.

Following groups like Newcastle Alternative Club on Meetup helps discover even more low-cost leisure activities around the city tailored to student interests.

Student Discounts for Leisure Activities

Students can take advantage of abundant discounts for activities like bowling, mini golf, karaoke, escape rooms, and more at local attractions like Lane7, Junkyard Golf, and Flip Out Newcastle.

Major cinema chains like Odeon, Vue and Everyman offer student ticket deals for new releases, often priced at £5 or less.

Newcastle's Theatre Royal and other venues provide last-minute discounted tickets to shows, letting budget-conscious students experience high culture at low prices. Simply showing a valid student ID unlocks many of these savings.

Using sites like UNiDAYS and Student Beans helps discover even more entertainment deals across the city too.

Free Community Events

Beyond regular attractions, Newcastle provides abundant free events like outdoor markets, art and music festivals, and street performances

Checking event calendars from the city council, Newcastle Culture, and Newcastle NE1 keeps students updated on upcoming free activities perfect for trying new experiences without spending.

Volunteering with community initiatives also enables participation in free events, while gaining valuable skills. Students can volunteer to help organise festivals, assist backstage at shows, or support other community programs. Investing time is rewarded with free entry and entertainment, new friends, and networking opportunities.

Preparing for the Move

Pre-Move Checklist

Preparing properly for an international student move reduces stress and ensures a smooth transition. Allow ample time - 6+ months if possible - to complete any visa paperwork like student visas required to study in the UK as an international.

Booking travel, campus accommodation, and even initial grocery delivery well in advance provide peace of mind.

Set up your student bank account several weeks before departing your home country. Arrange any needed medical records transfers ahead of time too. But what should you pack for university in your first year? Thoughtfully packing essentials and shipping heavier items like textbooks saves luggage space.

Saying proper goodbyes to friends and family also provides closure before your fresh start abroad. Thinking holistically about needs across academics, housing, health and lifestyle prevents forgetting critical preparation steps.

Opening a UK Bank Account

Opening a local UK bank account is essential for paying rent, tuition and living costs without hassle.

Provide your university offer letter and housing contract as proof of UK ties when applying at international student-friendly banks like HSBC, Barclays or Santander. Also bring your passport, student ID, address proof, and money to deposit.

Many UK banks waive fees for students. Local accounts let you easily pay bills online, withdraw cash, deposit checks and more. Research to compare student account perks like interest rates, overdraft allowances and incentives across major providers. This ensures you select the best option for your needs.

Getting a Local SIM Card

Purchasing a local UK SIM card for your unlocked mobile phone ensures connectivity upon arrival. Leading providers like EE, O2 and Vodafone offer monthly contract plans with data allowances tailored to student needs. Alternatively, prepaid SIMs provide flexibility if you are staying short-term. There are many tips and benefits for students with short-term lets.

Using WiFi, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype also lets you easily call or message home while abroad. Compare providers’ coverage, data rates, contract length and student deal perks before deciding your optimal SIM. Purchasing a SIM card at the airport or shortly after arrival is a safe option.

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