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Agency says London market and rents hit badly by student slump

Coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions imposed by the UK and other governments have hit the London rental market badly, an agency admits.

Chesterton says rents in the capital have fallen between 10 and 15 per cent and much of this is down to the lack of students.

The agency says that over the past decade the student market has become increasingly important to London, especially in central areas, where it estimates that between June and September 30 per cent of its tenants had been international students with generous budgets. 


This figure was even higher in areas most popular with international students and locations around major universities such as Bloomsbury, Camden and Knightsbridge.

However, the number of student tenants housed by Chestertons in the first six months of this year was 48 per cent less than the same period last year. 


With lower demand from these students, there is currently more rental properties available on the market and, as a result, rents have dropped.

There were an estimated 375,000 higher education students in London in the 2018/19 academic year according to the Higher Education Statistics Authority and nearly a third were from overseas, typically from wealthy families with larger budgets for accommodation.

  • Mark Wilson

    Hard to argue with bad news.

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    • 22 July 2020 10:15 AM

    Time for London LL to sell up and get out of the hellhole.

    Stuff students.
    When they return in numbers they will find there are far fewer properties available catering for their type of tenure and the rent will be far higher.

    LL can't wait around for students to return.
    It appears there is a mass exodus from London occurring.
    London LL would do well to sell up and invest where the 'white flight' is going.
    This tends to be areas that are about 45 minutes train journey from Central London.

    London is a busted flush.
    With CGT inevitably going to be increased soon time for London LL to sell up and invest original capital and gains elsewhere.

    Matthew Fine

    It's very sweet of you Paul to call the city I live & work in a 'hellhole' but just remember this hellhole drives the whole of the UK market and without its engines running on full capacity the game is over. I can not wait for the day you post a positive comment about the property industry on this web site :)

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    • 22 July 2020 11:33 AM

    Will never happen the game is over unless you are an unencumbered LL with no need to sell for 20 years.

    Those sorts of LL can afford long and expensive evictions.
    Not so mortgaged LL.

    If I could afford to be a LL without mortgages then yes it can be an earner.

    It would still be difficult to get rid of rent defaulting tenants but at least no risk of repossession.
    For unencumbered LL the outlook is reasonably positive.

    It is still far better to invest capital in letting property than leaving in a savings account.
    But faced with feckless tenants and an eviction system which is completely in the favour of tenants it is simply too risky to be a mortgaged LL.

    50% of the PRS is unmortgaged.
    I would say those LL are pretty much immune from Govt attempts to eradicate them.

    Mortgaged LL on the other hand will be an increasingly dying breed.
    They account for the other 50% of the PRS.
    If I was an unencumbered LL then I would stay in the game as it is still the best game in town.
    But now not the case if the LL is mortgaged.
    Unless of course he has massively deep pockets to cope with feckless rent defaulting tenant evictions that he is prepared to dip into!!


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