With the new academic year underway, a survey has shown the importance of international students to London’s rental market.
Research from lettings firm E J Harris indicates the 107,000 international students in the capital cumulatively contribute £600m to the market each year.
Data from the report shows that some of the richest Chinese, Russian and Malaysian students spend up to £1,500 per week to live in residences in regions such as Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington.
Utilising statistics from their own client instructions over the last three years , alongside figures from the Government’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, the firm looked at the number and country of origin of foreign students in London. In addition, E J Harris looked at where these students choose to live, their preferred property and how much they spend in the sector.
There are 40,000 international students from continental Europe, with 67,000 from the rest of the world. In total, these academics spend £1.32bn on tuition fees, £1.36bn on accommodation and subsistence, of which £600m is spent on private lets or halls of residence.
In terms of country of origin, the largest group of international students in London is Chinese, with 18%. American students make up 9%, India 7%, Hong Kong 5% and Malaysia and Nigeria 4%. There is also significant foreign student make-ups from Singapore, Pakistan and Canada.
Annually, 20% of the firm’s clients in the capital are students, of which 50% are foreign. Accommodation for these students is typically provided by their parents, though some receive grants from their country of origin.
Typically, the majority of overseas students in London pay between £500-£600 per week for a two-bedroom apartment in areas such as Notting Hill, South Kensington or Shepherds Bush.
‘There are over 100,000 international students studying and living in London and their numbers are rising,’ said Elizabeth Harris, managing director of the firm. ‘University applications from overseas students are up by 18% since 2010 and up by 30% for the capital’s best universities,’ she added.
Concluding, Harris observed, ‘in our experience international students make for extremely good tenants, they are very studious and take their studies in London extremely seriously. As tenants they tend to be quiet, hard working and tidy. Smoking tends to be the only common vice.’