Tenant News

What do Chinese tenants look for in a London home?

Em Morley - October 22, 2019

The results of a study into what students look for in accommodation has revealed key trends for Chinese tenants studying in the UK.

In the academic year 2017/18, over 75,000 first-year students from China enrolled in UK universities, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency UK.

Build to rent revenue enhancement platform Houzen has undertaken research that shows Chinese students are looking for one of two property types: modern, one-bedroom apartments or accommodation specifically designed for international students.

The study highlights that “turn ons” when it comes to London accommodation include:

  1. 5-minute walk to a train/tube station
  2. New build property
  3. A lively neighbourhood
  4. High rise building
  5. Onsite security
  6. Resident lounge
  7. Social events
  8. Balcony

The biggest “turn offs” include:

  1. Lengthy referencing
  2. Lack of storage
  3. No green space nearby
  4. Lack of 24/7 security
  5. Low ceilings
  6. Lack of carpeting

In terms of location, Canary Wharf is one of the most popular areas. The presence of private security and CCTV cameras provides reassurance to many who come to study in the UK.

Canary Wharf also wins in terms of its location. Most Chinese students prefer to navigate London on foot, due to the high cost of public transportation. As such, they need to live within a 15- or 20-minute walk of their chosen university, making Canary Wharf suitable for a number of London’s most sought after higher education establishments.

Megan Wang, International Demand Leader of Houzen, comments: “Location is a key consideration for Chinese students and for their families back home. Students want to live close to university, in an area that’s well maintained and secure. 

“This is just as important to their parents – they want to know that their children will be safe and sound while they are studying overseas. That’s why Canary Wharf has risen to a position of such prominence with young Chinese tenants recently.”

Houzen also highlights:

  • The average rent of an apartment in London by a Chinese student is £1,999 per month (based on Houzen’s data for 2018/2019). 
  • The average Chinese student also provides £2,333 per year in additional lifetime value, usually accounted for by expenditure on added services offered by their concierge or on-site accommodation team. 
  • Their average tenancy length is 12.4 months.