A recent report in the Evening Standard stated that nearly 250,000 people own a second home in London – “which they only live in part time.” Many of these investors are from other countries – particularly Middle Eastern nations and Russia – who see investing in Central London property as a safe bet.
A large number of these properties are in Mayfair and Belgravia, and are often never lived in at all.
Th biggest portion of this figure is comprised of families who own homes in London, but also have a holiday home in the city. Even more impressive, perhaps, are 63,000 people who live in two London properties, splitting their time between both.
While a high number of these properties remain empty for much of the year, a growing number are starting to unlock the earning power of their houses and flats. Specialist firms have been set up to rent out these types of property for when the owner is away. They often take care of the whole process, from booking to checking guests in and out. Some offer holiday home insurance-style protection against damage by tenants.
This concept has received a warm reception from those who own two properties, but some of those who own a single property are also taking advantage of their prime locations – by renting them out. Aside from periods when they are on holiday, some homeowners are spending time with family and friends in order to free up their property for rent. Some are reported to be making ten of thousands of pounds.