Rental market boom expected with new visa

A new two-year post study work visa is expected to encourage more international students to stay in the UK longer after graduating, boosting the number of longer term property rentals.


Landlords across the UK could be on the cusp of a rental market boom thanks to the introduction of extended post-study work visas.

With students already making up a significant portion of UK renters, it’s expected both the private rented and purpose-built student accommodation sectors will benefit if international graduates opt to stay in the UK longer.

Starting with the new intake in 2020, international students – including those from China, which sends more students to the UK than any other nation – will be able to spend longer looking for work in the UK after graduation.

Currently, graduates are only allowed four months to find long-term work, but the new visa system will allow two years.

Gary Hall, Knight Frank’s Head of Lettings, said: “International students are already a significant part of the London lettings market and make such an important contribution to the wider economy. This change will only help to strengthen that trend further.”

Which cities are set to prosper?

London’s rental market is expected to see the biggest benefit as it’s the city attracting the most overseas higher education students.

Manchester, Edinburgh and Coventry are also in the top five university cities, according to figures from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Warwick, Sheffield, Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford, Leeds and Cardiff all follow closely behind when it comes to recruiting international students – so these places are also likely to see a boost in the rental market.

Renting to students can be an appealing option for landlords – demand in student areas is consistent and students will often look to rent for a minimum of 12 months, taking away the stress of finding new tenants.

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