The average price of student accommodation in the UK has increased by nearly a third in six years, a survey has suggested.

The increase has been driven by the standard of accommodation shifting steadily upmarket, research by student housing charity Unipol and the National Union of Students (NUS) found.

The Accommodation Costs Survey 2018 found that in 2011 the average rental bill took up 58 per cent of the maximum student loan, now it is 73 per cent.

It showed that the top end of the market, studio flats made up 4 per cent of student accommodation in 2012, but now they account for 9 per cent.

Fewer people are now living in traditional student digs with shared bathrooms and kitchens. They now account for just 17 per cent of the total, down from 24 per cent six years ago.

The report said half of student bed spaces were provided by the private sector, up from 39 per cent in 2012. The other half are owned by educational institutions.

Self-catered en suite accommodation now accounts for the lion's share of student accommodation in both these sectors, at 58 per cent of total rooms, a rise of 2 per cent since 2012.

This had pushed the average price of accommodation up by a third over the six years, according to the survey.

The average annual student rental bill is now £6,366. In London the average is £8,875 and for the rest of the UK £5,928.

It is not just the private sector which has been increasing prices.

In Yorkshire and the Humber the average price for university-owned halls is now more than the private sector equivalent.

Victoria Tolmie-Loverseed, assistant chief executive of Unipol Student Homes, said that while it was positive that student housing standards had improved, it was important that students on middle and lower incomes were not priced out.

The Department for Education said: "We have increased support for full-time students' living costs by 3.2 per cent for the current academic year.

"Disadvantaged students starting their courses this year have access to the largest ever amounts of cash-in-hand support for their living costs."

This follows recent student housing news showing the growth of student accommodation, and Simple’s own feature on the best student rental yields.