Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Barratt London has revealed UAE investors are increasingly looking for properties close to universities and schools to act as a bolthole when visiting children attending education facilities
- In the last six months, 40% of enquiries were related to education
- The UK’s universities admissions service revealed a record number of applications from UAE students to study in the UK in 2022; that figure is up 247% since 2011
Education is one of the main drivers of property sales in the UK, particularly in London, according to Barratt Developments, the largest residential property development company in the United Kingdom, which has seen an uptick in enquiries related to interest in properties located in the vicinity of some of London’s top educational facilities in the last year.
Data from the UK’s universities admissions service, UCAS, has revealed that Britain is one of the world’s leading destinations for international students, with many selecting London due to its status as a globally renowned academic hub. Furthermore, data from the admissions service has revealed that international undergraduate applicants will increase by 46 per cent to 208,500 in 2026, with students from the UAE choosing to study in the UK rising by an incredible 247% since 2011.
According to Stuart Leslie, International Sales and Marketing Director at Barratt London, enquiries about real estate, with education as one of the primary drivers for investing, are increasing year-on-year.
He said, “Around 40% of our Middle East enquiries are related to education. For many parents from the region looking to send their children to schools and universities in London, having a bolthole that allows them to visit their children more freely is a prerequisite. When not using it themselves, they can take advantage of the high yields attainable in the city and use it as a rental property, creating a win-win situation.”
“A number of the people we speak to, particularly from the UAE, are focused on sending their children to the UK and investing in the property market because they’ve been educated there and understand the investment opportunities of owning a property in London.”
In London as a whole, 27% of primary schools and 36% of secondary schools reach the highest Outstanding rating, but some London boroughs rate better than others. Barratt London developments are strategically located and are chosen with ease of transportation, including the new Crossrail train service, the Elizabeth Line, which is vastly reducing journey times across the capital and resulting in many of London’s finest schools and universities within easy reach.
The London Borough of Barnet, for example, is one of the highest-performing areas in the capital, with 33% of primary schools rated as Outstanding. The three grammar schools, Henrietta Barnett School for girls, St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School for girls and Queen Elizabeth’s School for boys are all extremely well regarded.
Among the independent schools, Mill Hill School, a co-educational day and boarding school for 13- to 18-year-olds, has an especially good reputation. The Mill Hill School Foundation includes Grimsdell school for ages three to seven, Belmont Preparatory school for ages seven to 13 and Mill Hill International School, which specialises in providing an excellent education for children aged 13 to 17 from all over the world.
These excellent Mill Hill schools are just a 12-minute walk away from Barratt London’s Ridgeway Views development in North West London, overlooking the rolling hills of the Totteridge Valley. The 460 new homes there are surrounded by 47 acres of green space next to Mill Hill Village, a quaint area with country pubs and a duck pond but with convenient London Underground services into the heart of the city in just half an hour.
One of the best-known public schools in the UK is Harrow School, which was founded in 1572 under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I, and whose alumni include Winston Churchill, Nehru and King Hussein of Jordan. Alternative independent school options nearby are The John Lyon School, which takes boys and girls from aged 11, or the girls’ school North London Collegiate School, while the state secondary school Nower Hill High School and St Dominic’s Sixth Form College are highly regarded.
Harrow School is less than two miles away from Eastman Village, a Barratt London scheme that is set in a major regeneration area of what was once a Kodak factory. The disused site is being replaced with 2,000 homes, two schools, a health centre, community facilities, a gym, open spaces and leisure facilities, as well as offices, shops and a network of cycle paths and footpaths, creating a buzzing new community in Harrow.
Several other Barratt London schemes are also well-placed for taking advantage of everything the British education system has to offer. Hayes Village, in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is a 15-minute drive from Hayes Park School which was praised by Ofsted for its “reading culture”, while many other Good and Outstanding primaries are within easy walking distance. At secondary level, the Outstanding Featherstone High School is just over a mile away.
Meanwhile, Springfield Place, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, is close to the friendly and non-selective Finton House School, the Outstanding-rated Thomas’s Clapham whose sister school educated Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and Ashcroft Technology Academy, rated as Outstanding, and has recently had a £14 million building and upgrade programme.
With so much excellent accommodation in London to choose from, starting from just £319,000 for an apartment in Eastman Village, buying in London can certainly make good financial sense.
Accommodation for university students in the capital starts from around £800 a month for a basic room, up to £2,000 a month for a studio apartment. At current mortgage rates, and with a 10% deposit, you could buy an apartment for your son or daughter and only be spending around £1,500 a month* while enjoying all the benefits of an appreciating asset and an exciting base from which to explore one of the world’s most exciting cities.
*Based on example property costing £319,000 and average interest rate of 4% over a 25 year mortgage term.