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A huge degree of pain – London student lettings sector to take 24% hit

The private rental sector dedicated to student accommodation in London could see a 24 per cent drop in income in the coming year according to a lettings agency.

The average London student pays £702 a month in rent, meaning those on a three-year course will pay out £8,424 a year, totalling more than £25,000 throughout their course.

This means the capital’s student body brings in nearly £271m to London’s rental market in rent each month, with international students accounting for £85.6m of it.

However, with COVID-19 causing travel restrictions and broader health implications for universities, it’s predicted that the number of students heading to London this term will drop by as much as 24 per cent according to calculations by the Benham and Reeves agency.

That’s a loss of over £65m a month for the London student rental sector.

But the agency insists that despite this prediction, many areas of London are still experiencing high levels of demand for student accommodation.

The agency says the number of student-specific rental properties that have already been snapped up by students sits at 22 per cent – and in some boroughs, the figure is far higher.

In Merton, for example, it’s 80 per cent while Bromley, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham the proportions are between 60 and 75 per cent.

Even in more expensive markets such as Hammersmith and Fulham, Islington and Camden, student rental demand is sitting at 19 to 25 per cent.

“There is currently an evident decline in the level of rental demand from students than we might otherwise expect at this time of year. This has, of course, been driven by a lower number of international students looking for properties due to the travel restrictions and other hurdles that the current pandemic has presented” according to the director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr.

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