Overseas students outbid London’s bankers
In a race to rent London’s luxury pads Rents in central London are too expensive for young professionals working in the city. Untidy bedsits and cramped accommodation are normally associated with student life, however in central London’s best addresses, where weekly rents can top £1,000 per week, an elite of highly-affluent, foreign under-graduates are renting luxury apartments.
According to the London Central Portfolio, this group accounts for 41pc of the tenancy agreements signed in the last 12 months in prime Central London, often studying at Imperial College, University College London and the London School of Economics.
The fund’s study has revealed that the number of rich, overseas, student renters has been increasing, with their share of the sector doubling from 12pc to 29pc between 2006 and 2012. This corresponds with a decrease in the number of finance professionals renting in the areas of Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Kensington.
The report said: “Rentals of apartments in prime central London’s most exclsuive neighbourshoods by finance professionals, historically the mainstay of the market, stalled during the credit crunch when employment in the secor fell by around one third…foreign students have picked up the slack.”
The rentals sector in prime central London has seen a marked recovery with a 6.2pc increase in rent for brand new flats – not only are there more students arriving in London to study but they also have deep pockets and are outbidding corporate tenants.
“Even as financial markets recover, landlords are increasingly buying into the concept of international students as tenants. Many have experienced a sophisticated lifestyle and they treat the property with the same care as corporate occupiers, but the wealth underpinning them is stronger,” said Naomi Heaton, chief executive officer of London Central Portfolio.
Peter Wetherell, managing director of Wetherell said: “The overseas students in Mayfair originate from very wealthy privileged families from the Middle East, Asia, United States, Russia and India.
“The families want them to be in secure and luxurious “home from home” accommodation, so provide them with chic apartments in high quality buildings. They choose to rent in Mayfair because they like the West End’s nightlife, restaurants and shops. They are also drawn to the area due to its proximity to Fashion, Art and Music colleges such as the London College of Fashion campus in John Prince’s Street and the London College of Contemporary Arts campus on Great Chapel Street.”