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London foreign student letting market valued at remarkable £600m

The 107,000 overseas students using London’s burgeoning private rental market contribute some £600m annually to landlords, according to research by agency E J Harris. 

The wealthiest Chinese, Russian and Malaysian students typically spend up to £1,500 a week in prime central London apartments. 

The Europe Real Estate website reports that using data from its own client instructions over the last three years and drawing on figures from the government’s Higher Education Statistics Agency, E J Harris has analysed the number and country of origin of foreign students in the capital. It has also assessed where they choose to live, the type of properties they let and how much they spend in the private rental sector.

There are some 107,000 international students studying in London - 40,000 from continental Europe and 67,000 from the rest of the world - and they spend £1.32 billion on tuition fees, £1.36 billion on accommodation and living costs.

In addition, they spend £600m on private lets or halls of residence costs. 

“University applications from overseas students are up by 18 per cent since 2010, and up by 30 per cent for the capital’s best universities. 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” Elizabeth Harris, managing director of E J Harris, is quoted as saying.

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