Investors in buy-to-let property in London are seeing a real boost from the number of international students who are living and studying in the city, it has been reported.
Since 2011, the number of students applying to universities across the UK has been increasing year-on-year, with this growth underpinned by an increase in international students, both from the EU and further afield.
At the moment, there are some 107,000 international students in places at universities across the capital, and EJ Harris, a lettings firm, says that these students, many very affluent, are bringing in £600 million in rental income to the market each year.
The report shows that many of the richest overseas students are paying very high prices to secure places to rent in some of the very best locations across the city. The wealthiest Chinese, Russian and Malaysian students typically spend up to £1,500 per week to live in plush addresses in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington, it said.
Of those who come from overseas to study in London, some 40,000 are coming from across continental Europe, while another 67,000 are coming into the city from further afield to study here.
They are even spending more on accommodation every year than they do on tuition, according to the findings. They showed that foreign students are spending £1.32 billion on their tuition year after year, while they spend an additional £1.36 billion each year on accommodation.
Some £600 million of this goes on private lets, giving landlords in London property a real boost and a strong potential to make a good return on their investment each year. The company said that these students are, in most cases, also very favourable as tenants.
Elizabeth Harris, managing director of E J Harris, said: "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."