London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 23, 2011 -- With over 285,000 international students currently studying in London, leading London lettings agent, Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings, is advising landlords to consider tapping into this fast-growing market. The number of overseas students studying in the capital has grown by around 25% in the last two years and academic experts are predicting a 47,000 student bed shortfall by 2016. "As the number of students continues to rise well beyond the amount of purpose-built accommodation available, investors should look at the potential of this lucrative market," advises Lettings Director Marc von Grundherr.
"Many landlords turn their backs on the student market, but students can make surprisingly good tenants," explains Marc. "The demand from students is high and likely to grow further still. In our experience, students are just like any other tenant " they're looking for attractive, well priced accommodation in a good location. They usually have a parental guarantee so you can be confident you'll be paid on time while void periods tend to be minimal. Properties are tenanted for most of the year, with students typically searching for a property several months ahead of the next academic yearand many coming in from overseas with generous budgets."
"Overseas students in particular, (and sometimes mature students such as those studying for an MBA), usually have a good budget " we currently have a student paying £1500 per week for an apartment at The Knightsbridge. While areas close to the best universities are always popular, they can be expensive, so students are often prepared to travel and new builds with good facilities and a nearby Tube such as St George plc's Beaufort Park development in Hendon is a good example with most Studios letting within a few days. The development is situated just a stone's throw from the Middlesex University and a northern line Tube station."
"Traditionally, many investors used to buy properties for their son or daughter to live in while studying in London," continues Marc. "When their studies were over, the student would move on and their London investment property would be sold straight away. But the last 10 years have seen a shift away from this pattern, with investors now likely to view the property purchase as part of a longer term investment strategy. They will do their homework and spend more on a property in a better location, holding on to it for the long term and renting it out to other students or young professionals. With property prices in central London increasing by almost 15% in the last 12 months, this is a strategy paying dividends in the long term, far outperforming other conventional types of investment." With student numbers continuing to rise and the shortage of accommodation set to worsen (only 26% of London's higher education students can access halls of residence according to a recent Student Property Report by Knight Frank), the trend towards retaining a property as a longer term investment looks like a shrewd move.
"Demand for property to rent in London is showing no signs of slowing down with studios and 1 bed apartments in central London currently being rented in less than a week, some in as little as 24 hours. The demand to supply ratio for smaller flats to rent across our 9 branches is currently 10 to 1, so renting a property to a student can ensure a steady rental income, with a property that is tenanted for most of the year." concludes Marc.
For more information on renting in London or rental property investment in London contact Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings www.brlets.co.uk
Established in 1956 in Hampstead, London, and now with nine offices in the prime residential areas of London, (and overseas offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Delhi and Mumbai), Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings is recognised as one of London's largest, specialist lettings and property management agencies. To complement this, they also provide an interior design, refurbishment and furnishings service for London rental investment properties to landlords based worldwide.