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Foreign students living in style in London
Harrods Estates, the luxury real estate division of the Harrods Group, has reported that in 2008, 54 per cent of its total lets were made to international students.
With around 75,000 international students (from outside the EU) studying at UK universities, a large proportion of these are attracted to London and have substantial budgets to spend on superior accommodation in prime central London locations.
Russian and Middle Eastern international students make up the largest proportion of the student rental market at Harrods Estates, typically preferring new-build luxury apartments in the Knightsbridge and Mayfair areas. Features such as 24 hour porter, secure parking and a gym or swimming pool are also popular. The majority of the properties Harrods Estates lets to international students are on an individual basis for the length of their course, and range between the £800 - £2000 per week price bracket.
Karen Boland Head of Lettings at Harrods Estates comments, “Surprisingly, most of the international students we let to live alone rather than sharing with friends or fellow students as is more common in the UK. Consequently, security is high on their list of priorities and a central, stylish location close to bars and restaurants, rather than within a short distance from their university is often preferred.”
Harrods Estates anticipates the strength of the prime student rental market will continue into 2009 and is expecting to see an increase in the number of European students renting property due to the strength of the Euro. Boland believes the number of wealthy international students is likely to increase: “As the pound continues to weaken against other world currencies, I am confident the demand for rental property will continue amongst wealthy international students in London, who are taking advantage of the diminished course fees and cost of living in the UK. We are expecting to see more French, German and Italian students too in light of the strong Euro.”