What do Chinese tenants look for in a London home?

London has a larger foreign-born population proportion than any other UK city, with 38% of Londoners being migrants, according to The Migration Observatory. That compares to 14% (9.4 million people) for the UK as a whole. Of those 9.4 million people, 216,000 were born in China.

Many of those who come to the UK from China settle in London, where around 120,250 Chinese people live, accounting for 1.5% of the capital’s population. Chinese communities are spread across the capital, with notable populations in Soho’s Chinatown, Barnet, Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Haringey and Tower Hamlets.

Many of those drawn to the city are inspired to live there for a range of reasons. These include London’s economic opportunities and diverse cultural pursuits. Many young Chinese people also come to London (along with other UK cities) to study. In fact, China sends more students to university in the UK than any other nation and has done for several years. In 2017/18, over 75,000 first-year students from China enrolled in UK universities, according to Higher Education Statistics Agency UK.

These bright, young Chinese students are increasingly eschewing the areas of London where Chinese migrants have traditionally settled. Runnymede’s Young Chinese Migrants in London report states that, “New, dispersed, affluent and gentrifying Chinese geographies are reconfiguring Chinese London, displacing Soho’s Chinatown as its centre.”

According to institutional/build to rent revenue enhancement platform Houzen, these young Chinese students are looking for one of two property types: modern, one-bedroom apartments or accommodation specifically designed for international students. Their key focus is on safety and they research areas thoroughly on Chinese forums for international students and through group discussions on WeChat.

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