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International tenants on the rise as pandemic restrictions ease

The number of international tenants searching for UK property has reached its highest level since before the pandemic.

High end agency Knight Frank says almost a quarter of all web users looking at its lettings properties in August were based overseas, the highest figure since January 2020. 

The average figure in the 18 months to June was lower - just 17 per cent.


Furthermore, the number of international web users looking at lettings properties in August exceeded those based in the UK for the first time since the start of 2020. 

The agency says demand has been driven by overseas students acting before the start of the academic year, as well as returning corporate tenants as offices re-open.

“It’s more web traffic than air traffic at the moment but international demand is undoubtedly building” says Tom Bill, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank. 

“As the feeling grows that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, normal service will resume in the UK property market and I expect overseas buyers and tenants to make their presence felt in the final quarter of this year.”

Air travel has been severely curtailed during the pandemic due to international restrictions that mean many visitors to the UK have needed to quarantine on arrival or their return. 



While the number of arrivals at Heathrow in July was the highest since the start of the pandemic, it was still more than 80 per cent below the figure for the same month in 2019.

“In some London branches, we have in excess of 80% of rental applicants searching for properties who are not based in the UK,” said Gary Hall, head of lettings at Knight Frank.


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