A property firm has produced a ranking of the university towns with the most promising growth in house prices, with the idea that a canny investment could offset fees.

Oxford, Cambridge or any London university are not a good idea for property investing students, says City AM. The best bets are not even in the south-east of England.

Top of the table, compiled by the online agent HouseSimple, is Manchester University, where three years of growth – if it continues – might net you £30,108. Coventry, Birmingham and Norwich are also good destinations.

Commenting on the league table, HomeSimple’s Alex Gosling said: “It’s hardly surprising that young people are thinking twice about heading off to university when they’re faced with a £27,000 headache that they have to pay back.

“There’s a good chance parents of undergraduates will be expected to help cover the cost of rent, tuition or both. “By investing in a second home, your child won’t have to pay living costs, as the rent will cover that, and the increase in capital value could cover the cost of tuition fees.”

Here are the top ten destinations with the potential increase in value of the average home over three years. The figure in brackets is the average house price in that city:

Manchester – £30,108 (£147,700)

Coventry – £26,625 (£153,926)

Birmingham – £42,697 (£156,153)

Aston (Birmingham) – £42,697 (£156,153)

UAE (Norwich) – £36,185 (£182,114)

Portsmouth – £35,284 (£185,365)

Southampton – £36,520 (£188,140)

Cardiff – £31,599 (£188,251)

Loughborough – £30,542 (£193,606)

York – £42,697 (£229,881)