Wealthy foreign students now account for 29% of all private tenants on the books of one large property manager in prime central London.
According to Central London Portfolio, a property investment firm, foreign students represent the second biggest proportion of its market. The largest single group are Chinese students.
At LCP’s pre-credit crunch audit in 2006, overseas student represented just 12% of LCP’s market.
LCP says that the average foreign student pays rent of £28,878 per annum in Westminster.
The findings follow the results of the last Census, which show that people in London classifying themselves as ‘white Britons’ are now a minority of 45%.
LCP criticised government measures to cut back on overseas student numbers, including abolishing visas allowing them to stay on after graduating.
Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP, said: “Foreigners are attracted to prime London as a financial centre, a ‘go to’ destination and as a premier league provider of education.
“Alongside the aspiration for a great British education, there has been a significant appetite to invest in bricks and mortar. Recent changes to the immigration rules could send these students, and with them significant international wealth and investment, elsewhere.
“Hopefully David Cameron’s new stance on Chinese visas will trigger a more commercial approach to the rules on immigration so that international students will continue to make London their first choice, to the benefit of the UK economy.”