Rents are higher in a third of university towns than students are willing to pay, according to a study.
Research reveals that the cost of a room in a student flatshare has soared by 8.5% in the past year, to an average of £357 per month.
The research based an analysis of rents in 25 university towns and cities, and a survey of students, found that unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive place, with average monthly rents of £567, followed by Cambridge (£450) and Oxford (£398).
At the other end of the scale, Cardiff and Swansea are the cheapest, with landlords in these places asking for £255 and £260 a month respectively.
The research, conducted by flatsharing website easyroommate.co.uk, found that in eight of the areas examined, rents were higher than the maximum amount students were willing to pay.
The biggest discrepancy was in Exeter, where the average monthly student flatshare rent was £385, but students said they were only willing to pay out a maximum of £300.
Other places where rent exceeded expectations were Bournemouth, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester and Plymouth.
More than half (54%) of the 1,100 students surveyed said they had seen their rent rise in the last 12 months, the research found.
It claimed that the rate of growth in the cost of rents had been fuelled by higher numbers of people going to university.
Increasing rents had also forced students to change their lifestyle and accommodation, the study found.
Over a fifth of those questioned said they now shared a property with more people than last year to reduce their costs, while more than a quarter (28%) said they had less money to spend on their social life.
Around one in eight (12%) said they were able to save less money for after they graduate, while 7% had had to cut back spending on books and study materials.
Rishi Patel, manager of easyroommate.co.uk, said: "Student rents are once again on the march as student numbers begin to recover following the increase in tuition fees.
"Rents for student flatshares are now at their highest level in five years which is increasing the financial pressure being felt by many students across the country who also have to deal with higher fees and more expensive day-to-day living costs."
The survey questioned 1,122 students between August 16 and 27.