TIME TO READ 3 MINS
Why is London such a great place to live and what makes London property so attractive as an investment?
London is one of the greatest cities in the world. It is truly global and welcomes everyone. London is the most diverse and cosmopolitan capital worldwide. It encourages diversity that will enrich its society.
This diversity plays a vital role in attracting people and business to the capital. London has a progressive attitude towards business to entice, nurture and retain the best talent from all over the world.
The Global Financial Centres Index rates cities on their competitiveness in the financial sector. London consistently ranks in the top 3 of “the most powerful financial centres in the world”. Retaining the number 1 spot in 2015 and keeping it since. The capital has maintained its premier position despite the recent uncertainty over leaving the EU. The index considers factors such as infrastructure, business environment, human capital, financial sector development and reputation to give a balanced assessment. London’s reputation as the most influential financial centre also attracts the best talent which self-perpetuates it’s is authority on the world stage.
ATTRACTING GLOBAL TALENT
It is not just banking, finance and business where London excels and attracts global talent. In recent years it has become the largest tech centre outside San Francisco. In addition, the UK is now positioning itself to become one the most important scientific and medical research centres.
There are very few other cities to rival London in the creative areas too. London and the UK are pioneers in media, music and fashion.
In the same way, London also leads the way in entertainment, nightlife, culture, food and art. Some of the best shopping experiences worldwide are to be found in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Chelsea.
In addition, education is also a very popular attraction with English being the most popular business language worldwide.
QUICK GUIDE TO THE HISTORY
London’s rich history dates back over 2000 years to Roman times. Some of the oldest buildings and landmarks are as early as the 1st and 2nd Century. The majority of residential property was built in the Victorian and Edwardian periods around the mid 19th Century and early 20th Century. in 1920’s the Art Deco style became popular which later developed into Modernism in the pre-war period of the 1930’s.
The capital was heavily bombed during the Second World War which resulted in large areas of Central and East London being flattened. In the decades after the war, new buildings emerged from the ruins of the old. This created stark contrasts in architectural styles adding interest to the neighbourhoods. The 50’s and 60’s saw the introduction of concrete tower blocks and high-density estates. The 70s and 80’s was a period of modernisation and regeneration that had continues until this day.
Today, some of London’s most expensive property stands on the former sites of old commercial buildings.
LONDON PROPERTY BUYING GUIDE
With so much to consider and such a wide choice of property styles buying London property can seem quite daunting. In Zone 1, the prices currently range from £800/sqft to over £5,000/sqft. As a result, knowing what and where to buy at any specific time is important.
Different buyers face different problems. Anyone living in London will already be familiar the areas. For them it will be a choice between smaller and more central or larger and further out. Not such a hard decision but then factor in commuting and schools and it starts to get complicated. In addition to this, there are an estimated 1200 estate agents in Central London alone. Some areas have as many as 60 in one single postcode. Looking for a property in London can be very time consuming even when you live here.
The London property market is divided into 3 tiers;
1) Open Market – Property advertised on websites and available to anyone
2) Discreetly Marketed – Usually by estate agents who only contact their trusted buyers
3) Off Market – Properties that are usually sourced directly from the vendor (Off Market will vary depending on who you speak with. Read our Guide to Buying Off Market property to avoid costly mistakes and over paying)
THE LONDON PROPERTY MARKET
Unfortunately, the average member of the public will not have access to the whole market. They will only see a small percentage of property available. In some areas of Prime Central London as much as 50% of transactions are either off market or pre-market. The majority of these transactions are through a buying agent or property finder.
As if these issues were not enough to contend with, buying from overseas is even more complicated. Not knowing the areas often leads to buying in the wrong location for your objectives. Having limited market knowledge on property prices can also create problems. London is a very price sensitive market. The best property at the right price always sells fast. It can be very frustrating for overseas buyers who fly over to view a specific property only to find it sold. Therefore, most overseas buyers usually appoint a buying agent or property finder to represent their interests in London. A good buying agent will advise on location and prices, then search all options to access the whole market.
LONDON AREA GUIDE
The location is always high on the list of priorities for any property buyer. The most desirable areas of London are all central and surrounding the lower half of Hyde Park. This area is commonly referred to as Prime Central London. Prime London occupies the areas to the north of Hyde Park and the Prime Fringes surround both Prime Central and Prime.
PRIME CENTRAL LONDON
Please contact us to discuss your property search in confidence.