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Overseas student boost to London rental market

An analysis by investment consultancy London Central Portfolio suggests Asian students in particular favour London as a study location.

The consultancy has looked at data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency to find what it calls “a continued positive trend in Chinese student enrolments into the UK” with 15 per cent growth in Chinese student enrolments in 2019/20 - the highest rate seen in recent years.

Of those Chinese students, over a fifth came to London.


Andrew Weir, LCP’s chief executive, comments: "The UK’s safe haven status, diverse and liberal culture has attracted overseas students who would have previously studied in the US. The US has not seen growth rates above five per cent since 2017, this contrasts with a 15 per cent growth rate in the UK in 2019/20."

He continues: "Despite fears Brexit may impact the UK and London’s status as a global city, the number of first year overseas students from the Asia region now vastly outnumbers the total number of students from all EU countries combined.”

LCP says there has been a recent surge in students from India enrolling into UK higher education establishments, almost doubling in 2019/20 compared with the previous academic year. 

It adds that a new generation of overseas students view the UK as a desirable place in which to reside and study with London taking pole position; approximately one in five Asian students enrolling to study in the UK choosing London for their higher education in 2019/20.

“Whilst the pandemic has disrupted the usual seasonality of the rental market, if future enrolments reflect existing trends then prime London property is set to return to its former dynamic self enjoying a significant recovery once international travel restrictions are lifted" comments Weir.

  • Jeremy Robinson

    At Housing Hand we are seeing a growing numbers of international students booking their accommodation for next academic year. The numbers are still relatively low but confidence is returning in-line with UK vaccination efforts. Promising signs.


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