Wealthy foreign students ‘spending £1,500 a week on rent’

Foreign students are spending more than five times the average letting agent’s basic starting salary on luxury accommodation in London.

The wealthiest Chinese, Russian and Malaysian students typically spend up to £1,500 every week to live in plush pads in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and South Kensington.

Over 52 weeks that equates to a massive £78,000. According to the National Careers Service website, the average letting agent starting salary is just £15,000.

The research, carried out by lettings firm EJ Harris, shows that the 107,000 international students currently studying in London pay £600m in rent.

EJ Harris managing director Elizabeth Harris said: “There are over 100,000 international students studying and living in London, and their numbers are rising.

“University applications from overseas students are up by 18% since 2010, and up by 30% for the capital’s best universities.

“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.”

The figures, using government statistics and data from EJ Harris’ own client instructions over the past three years, shows 40,000 of the foreign students studying in London are from continental Europe and 67,000 are from the rest of the world.

The largest group of foreign students are from China (18%). Of the rest, 9% are from the USA, 7% from India, 5% from Hong Kong, and 4% from both Nigeria and Malaysia.

Other significant foreign student nationalities are people from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Pakistan and Canada.

EJ Harris said around 20% of their inner London clients were students, of which 50% were foreign students.

The students are usually aged between 18 and 22 and, said the research, the accommodation was usually paid for “by the bank of mum and dad”.

Some students receive special grants from their respective countries.

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