The university cities of Glasgow, Hull and Manchester have been named as the country's top buy-to-let hot spots for landlords looking to invest in student properties.
Relatively low house prices in Glasgow combined with an average rent of more than £1,000 a month on a typical four-bedroom student property mean that landlords there can expect the best rental yields in the UK at around 4.95%, according to property search website Zoopla, which used its own database for the findings.
The rental yield on a property is the annual return an investor can expect to make. It is worked out by calculating a year's rental income as a percentage of how much the rental property cost in the first place. Zoopla's findings were for made for gross yields, before the deduction of tax and expenses.
Hull had the second best rental yield at 4.80%, followed by Manchester at 4.59%.
Many of the cities offering better potential returns for landlords are outside the more expensive areas of the South where property prices are relatively high. The size of the profit a landlord can expect to make also depends on the strength of demand from potential tenants.
Despite having the largest student population in the UK, London was only the 10th most attractive place to invest in student accommodation.
Zoopla said this is because London house prices are rising faster than rents, which is reducing the potential returns for landlords.
Recent studies have shown that house prices in London are up by around 10% year-on-year as the housing market gathers pace.
The average yield on a student property in London was found to be 4.20%, putting the English capital behind places including Cheltenham, Cambridge, Bristol and Luton.
Oxford did not make the top 10, despite its worldwide reputation. Ranked at number 14, with a typical potential rental yield of 4.02%, Oxford came behind Sunderland and Coventry.
Belfast was in 18th place with a potential yield of 3.96%, while Swansea was in 24th and Cardiff was at 30.
Carlisle, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth were found to offer the lowest potential returns to landlords. The typical potential rental yield in Carlisle was found to be 2.58%, putting it well below the UK average of 3.79%.
In terms of the best value for students, Middlesbrough was found to have the cheapest digs. The average rent for a four-bedroom property in Middlesbrough was £562 a month.
At the other end of the scale, the average rent on a four-bedroom property in London costs more than six times that of Middlesbrough, at £3,485 a month.
There has recently been renewed interest in the buy-to-let sector, which has provided some decent returns at a time when savers are struggling to make any real money on their cash pots amid low interest rates.
But concerns were raised for thousands of buy-to-let borrowers yesterday after West Bromwich Building Society confirmed it was hiking rates on some of its tracker loans, prompting fears that other lenders could follow suit.
Rents have remained steady or increased, despite a recent upturn in tenants leaving the sector to get on the property ladder as mortgage availability widens.
Much of the continued strength of demand in the rental sector has been put down to a lack housing supply generally.
Lawrence Hall, Zoopla.co.uk spokesman, said: "The largest number of students or the most prestigious university clearly isn't necessarily best for investment returns.
"Landlords need to do their research and take into account the student demand, property supply, average property values and average monthly rents.
"There is no apparent North/South divide when it comes to student buy-to-let investments and a number of towns in the North are showing higher gross yields than the South as a result of property values having remained lower over the past few years whilst rental demand has increased."
Here are the best-performing student buy-to-let cities and towns for landlords, according to Zoopla, with the average monthly rent on a four-bedroom house, the average house price and the gross yield:
1. Glasgow, £1,083, £262,888, 4.95%
2. Hull, £737, £184,440, 4.80%
3. Manchester, £1,053, £275,132, 4.59%
4. Cheltenham, £1,631, £429,585, 4.56%
5. Cambridge, £1,628, £429,976, 4.54%
6. Buckingham, £1,502, £405,017, 4.45%
7. Luton, £1,076, £291,454, 4.43%
8. Bristol, £1,224, £342,699, 4.29%
9. Lincoln, £877, £248,980, 4.23%
10. London, £3,485, £995,104, 4.20%
Here are the worst-performing student buy-to-let cities and towns for landlords:
1. Carlisle, £608, £282,306, 2.58%
2. Middlesbrough, £562, £258,770, 2.61%
3. Bournemouth, £1,452, £564,560, 3.09%
4. Guildford, £1,902, £734,763, 3.11%
5. Stoke-on-Trent, £677, £258,314, 3.14%
6. Bath, £1,520, £579,370, 3.15%
7. Worcester, £946, £359,815, 3.15%
8. Huddersfield, £736, £277,027, 3.19%
9. Derby, £764, £277,808, 3.30%
10. Birmingham, £766, £270,371, 3.40%