Increase in international tenants seeking homes in London, research shows
International activity in London’s rental market, particularly in the more sought after and expensive locations, is on the increase according to new research from Hamptons International.
More than half of tenants, some 56%, in London over the last 12 months were from abroad and the proportion of international renters increased significantly to 78% in the prime central London market in the last year.
So far this year, there has been a 10% increase in the number of properties let in the London property market, with the number of international tenants increasing by 30% between 2012 and 2013. During the same period, the number of UK tenants remained unchanged across London.
Demand has been driven by Western Europeans making up 24% of tenants, North Americans at 8%, Asians at 7% and Eastern Europeans at 6%, the research from the firm shows.
In the most expensive markets across prime central London, where typical rents for three bedroom properties start from £1,000 per week, the proportion of international tenants increased further to 78% with specific areas appealing to different nationalities for various reasons including history and schooling.
The French alone make up 16% of prime central London tenants and Americans 13%. Chelsea, Kensington and Knightsbridge have the higher proportions of Western Europeans than any other London area, driven primarily by the French and Italians. The Lycée Francais Charles de Gaulle in Kensington is particularly attractive for French families moving to London.
St John’s Wood, on the outskirts of prime central London is notable for its large number of American tenants, who make up 30% of international tenants in the area. This part of London has a thriving American community which is centered around the American School and the American Ambassador’s residence, Winfield House, is also close by.
‘International tenants have been central to lettings market growth across London and are particularly prevalent in central London. Those worried about the performance of the top segment of the rental market as sales pick up should take note; the community of international skilled migrants looking for premium, short to medium term rental property in the Capital is only set to grow as the economy improves,’ said Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International.
‘Demand from this group will likely make up for any established UK renters taking advantage of increased mortgage availability to move across from renting to home ownership,’ he added.