City of London: New luxury developments opening London's financial center to residential investment
Limited housing supply, strong economic growth and Crossrail are driving up property prices in the City of London
As the London property markets continue to recover, the UK capital remains one of the world's favorite cities for commercial and residential investment.
People from diverse backgrounds are drawn to the global city for its robust finance, technology and media industries, cultured lifestyle and world-class education, keeping demand high for property in well-connected locations. The United Kingdom's transparent approach to tax and housing tenure also make it a stable prospect for overseas property investors.
Demand for Central London property is highest in the prime inner districts, particularly around the City of London. The capital's historic financial district, and still one of Europe's leading commerce centers, more than half a million people go to work in this square mile every day, and demand for residential property is greatly outstripping the limited supply.
The median rental for a two-bedroom home in the City is 76 percent higher than the London median, according to Rightmove data. The opening of high-speed Crossrail services from 2021 is expected to drive up prices and rents further in the next few years.
Financial and creative hub
Home of the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange and the headquarters of leading financial companies, the City is best known as London's original finance district, a title it now shares with Canary Wharf to the east. But today, the City's diversified economy is becoming increasingly driven by technology – with almost six times as many people now employed by the creative industry as banking.
With up to 1,000 new start-ups established every year, employment in the City is expected to grow by 10 percent or 47,000 jobs over the next decade, according to Oxford Economics, increasing demand for convenient property further. The arrival of the Crossrail Elizabeth Line at Farringdon and Liverpool Street stations in 2021 will make a City of London address even more desirable for international businesses, connecting to Heathrow Airport in just 32 minutes.
The world's best and brightest are also drawn to London for its globally-renowned higher education institutions. Many prestigious universities and colleges are just minutes from the City, including University College London, King's College, the London School of Economics and Cass Business School, continuing to top up the talent pool as graduates are recruited by local companies.
Sophisticated city living
Life in the City isn't all work and no play. Right in the heart of one of the world's most cosmopolitan capitals, some of the best experiences London has to offer are within walking distance, including five Michelin-starred restaurants, independent fashion and jewelry boutiques at the Royal Exchange and a year-round cultural calendar at the Barbican Centre.
Residential property is scarce in the City of London, but a wave of new developments is presenting limited opportunities to live or invest in a prestigious Zone 1 address. One of the most notable is The Denizen, a collection of 99 one, two and three-bedroom apartments by Taylor Wimpey Central London that's just a short walk from two Crossrail stations and four Underground stations for convenient access to the capital.
This new residential quarter over 4.5 acres comprises 50 percent green space to create a peaceful sanctuary in the city. Every home has a private balcony or terrace looking out over the landscaped grounds, while communal spaces including a park, residents' lounge, entertainment room and cinema aim to build a new community.
The Denizen is scheduled to complete from Q2 to Q3 2020. A number of units are now available for overseas property investors, with prices starting from £740,000 (HK$7.35m). Investors in Hong Kong who want to know more about this investment opportunity can attend JLL's exhibition from 18th to 20th October at The Landmark Oriental.