Despite the impending presence of Brexit, London stands tall as a property investment icon, Boasting world-class theatre, state-of-the-art education and a £565 billion economy.
A melting pot of culture
The capital is the largest city in both the UK and European Union with an estimated 8.8 million population. Covering 607.12 sq. miles, equalling to 22,250 residents per square mile, London continues to be in high demand for property. Offering an array of industries from retail to fashion, London is considered one of the most diverse cities in the world for ethnicity and religious beliefs.
Of the 8.8 million people living in London, 37% were born outside of the UK; two thirds from outside of the European Union. According to the 2011 Census, 262,247 people living in London were born in India. As more opportunities are conceived in London the numbers are predicted to grow to up to 10.5 million by 2035.
An American in London
The rise of the tech sector in London, most predominately Silicon Valley Tech Giants, have boosted London’s property market. US property investors are soaring through Marylebone, Mayfair, and Chelsea. Accounting for 6% of all sales by foreign buyers in London, second only to Chinese buyers, President Trump’s relaxation of tax laws governing repatriation of money held over-shore which has freed hundreds of billions of dollars for investment in blue chip assets.
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Property developer, Knight Frank established that Americans have paid an average of £7.3 million for Central London homes this year in Marylebone. Liam Bailey of Knight Frank claims “the pound’s weakness against the dollar since the Brexit referendum combined with weaker underlying prices had made London more affordable, but the huge sums being ploughed into the tech giants and hedge funds are the driving factor.
There has been a significant uptick in demand for prime property from relocating US employees, entrepreneurs, and business owners. Among the market leaders are Google’s £1 billion European headquarters in King Cross, Facebook’s engineering hub at Rathbone Place and Amazon UK’s headquarters in Shoreditch.
The new face of the tech sector
The past decade has seen London evolve into the tech hub of Europe, with a new generation of leaders. The millennials leading the tech sector demand action on major issues including climate change, mental illness and work life balance. Commercial property is seeing their influence and meeting their perquisites via ping pong tables, remote working capabilities and multipurpose spaces.
The tech sector is expected to be the leading industry in London in the next ten years. Currently, Canary Wharf hosts more than 35,000 tech workers. In preparation for the upcoming economic changes, property developers are already preparing to accommodate this.
Wood Wharf is set to become the districts largest regeneration development. A major requirement for this generation of leaders is access to outside space and the latest 5G networks. A £5m sq. ft project with more than £2m sq. ft of commercial leasing, distinctive workplaces, and interconnected public space is being built to meet the demands of the tech-heavy tenant.
London attracts all sorts of people for its variety of experiences. In 2019, the most in-demand region is East London. London has always been notorious from its innovative creative scene, and with more independent galleries, creative start-ups, young professionals and couples are heading to the regeneration sector of East London.
ONS figures showed that in 2017 the proportion of women never having children has doubled in a generation. A Savills study reported that the DINK generation (Dual Income No Kids), possessing a combined income of £80,000 where the older partner is 26-35 are heading towards South and South East London including prime riverfront addresses from London Bridge, Bermondsey and East Putney,
“There is definitely the attraction of water at play,” says Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills and author of the report. “They are going to be slightly less concerned about family things,” he says. “It’s all about leisure and amenity.”
London of the Future
As the capital city, London is continuously subjected to regeneration to continue its position as an economic powerhouse of Europe.
The 1000ft proposed Tulip Tower is intended to reside by the Gherkin, making the skyscraper the second tallest structure in Western Europe, featuring a viewing platform with rotating pods. The Tulip will include a restaurant and sky bar in addition to a floor for educational purposes during school hours.
Designers Compass Pools, are proposing a ‘world’s first’ transparent infinity pool on top of a 55-storey building providing 360-degree views of London. To not jeopardize the view, a spiral staircase will rotate and rise through the 600,000-litre pool to provide access.
Since the construction of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, investors and developers alike, have seen potential in the east London area. Once industrial buildings are being converted into luxury apartments and residential sites such as The Bagel Factory are are drawing in many young professionals for the supply of an alternative social scene.
To contest with the South Bank, Westminster Council will fund a £28 million scheme to redevelop the North Bank. Home to Somerset House and The Savoy Hotel, the North Bank will replace Aldwych gyratory system with a two-way road and a new plaza is to be installed by St Mary le strand church. Additionally, the Strand from Aldwych to Melbourne Place to the east will be pedestrianised and lined with cherry trees. The riverbank will be opened up to become a cultural quarter lined with restaurants, bars and a retail to compete the Southbank.
The Elizabeth Line is Transport for London’s new rail line, currently being built by Crossrail Ltd, is expected to service approximately 200 million people every year. Stretching more than 60 miles from Reading to Shenfield, the Elizabeth Line stops at 41 stations, 10 new newly build stations and 30 newly upgraded.
As the capital, London is the first stop for regeneration, historical value, education, culture, as evident by its 8.8 million population. Despite Brexit, as long as London continues to be a global phenomenon, it is a formidable location for student, commercial and residential property investment.