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Students flock to London lettings market despite Covid-19 woes

Overseas and domestic students have returned to the London lettings market in full force this month, accounting for 25% of all tenants currently registering with Dexters’ 12 prime central London (PCL) offices.

The survey conducted by the London estate agent found that the five most popular locations for students to live in the capital are Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia (70%), South Kensington (60%), Chelsea (40%) and Notting Hill (35%).

Over the last month, 450 new student tenants per week have registered with Dexters’ 12 offices in PCL. This upsurge of new student applicants adds to the agency’s existing database of over 100,000 buyers and tenants currently looking for a new London home.


Historically, London has the largest student population of any UK city and one of the largest populations of overseas students of any city in the world. The most recent academic year saw over 372,000 higher education students living in London, comprising 251,000 undergraduates and 121,000 postgraduates.

Of this grand total, 107,200 were overseas students who in the last academic year spent £1.75 billion on rent, food, travel and leisure, and generated £1.52 billion in tuition fees for London’s universities and higher education facilities.

An additional £131 million was spent in London on short-term lets, hotel accommodation, travel, food, shopping and tourism.

The leading overseas countries sending the most students to the capital include China, the United States, India, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. Over 70% of the domestic students studying and living in London originate from the South East and West Midlands.

Whilst some students choose to live in purpose-built student accommodation or halls of residence, many choose to rent privately, generating over 210,000 private renters living in Central London.

Richard Page, marketing director of Dexters, comments: “Each summer our Central London offices, in particular Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and South Kensington, receive a wave of new student registrations seeking lettings accommodation.”

“This year, some industry commentators were anxious about whether the student accommodation market would return due to uncertainties related to Covid-19 such as travel and social distancing, alongside the ongoing lack of clarity surrounding fees for EU students due to the Brexit discussions.”

He concludes: “Our findings underline the continuing appeal of London and global confidence in the UK university system and the calibre of courses being offered.”


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