Wealthy students boot bankers out of plush digs

AFS Team·10 July 2012·3 min read
Wealthy students boot bankers out of plush digs
Upmarket landlords are booting out the bankers and moving in students from overseas who have the money to live in luxury. The face of student letting is changing from the common misconception of scruffy, tired and cramped shared houses to designer hotel-style apartments offering cleaners, gyms and stylish living. London is leading the way with plush apartments in blocks just a few minutes walk from the best addresses in Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea. With students paying up to £1,000 a week for luxurious two-bedroom apartments, the sons and daughters of the world’s super rich are cashing in on the demise of banker bonuses that fuelled the lettings boom in the capital. "They're looking for hotel rooms not cheap accommodation on a budget," Naomi Heaton, chief executive of London Central Portfolio told Reuters Property. Her company has Russian, Chinese and Arab students renting in a property portfolio worth more than £500 million. "Many would have experienced a fairly sophisticated lifestyle, travelling around the world business class. Their requirements are similar to that of corporate tenants," said Heaton. “The rental market has remained buoyant over recent months, especially in the core investment sector of one and two bed flats. “Rents have been increasing at an average 4% for tenancy renewals and re-lets have achieved an average uplift of 8.2% above the previous level.” The number of wealthy overseas students coming to British universities to study is expected to rise by around 10,000 over the next decade. Most are expected to come to live and study in London, although some other leading higher education centres like Oxford and Cambridge are also likely to profit as well. For student landlords with the right properties, the attractions are obvious - foreign students renting in Westminster, which includes some of London’s best postcodes, pay an average annual rent of £28,878, said Heaton, while an average student pays just £3,500