UK REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
London is, and always has been, a metropolis. It is one of the world’s most famous cities, and the capital city of the United Kingdom. It is the nation’s largest, most metropolitan, cosmopolitan and busiest area.
Situated on the River Thames, London has been a beacon towards which people from all walks of life flock, and it has been since its birth around two millennium ago.
London is a leading global city, in terms of the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, healthcare, media, research, tourism, and the list goes on and on. Financially, it is one of the world’s leading centers, one of the most influential and one of the largest. Furthermore, London is a cultural and international capital. Many world-leading and highly influential universities as Imperial College or The London Business School of Economics, considered one of the world’s leading business schools, reside in London.
It attracts people from all over the world, and can find centers, shops and areas from every conceivable culture.
In 2012, London became the first city to host the Olympic Games three times.
London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, with 300 languages being spoken, its huge diverse range of ethnicity means that is impossible for anyone to feel out of place or alienated. London had an official population of 8,308,369 in 2012, making it the most populous area in the EU.
London is also a center for World Heritage, with: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; Westminster, St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich. Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard, all of close distance to each other. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, many of which are free entry, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library and 40 West End theaters.
Transport in London is never a problem. London’s transport is in fact among the most extensive, reliable and sufficient in the world, London’s bus network is one of the largest in the world, It has numerous and the busiest airports, whilst the Port of London is now the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world, and the most extensive, often touted as the fastest and most efficient.
London’s buildings are too diverse for them to be summarised here, or indeed to use an overall word to describe them. Buildings from the Middle Ages to last year exist alongside each other. Less historical buildings pre-1666 remain, such as the Tower of London and a few surviving Tudor buildings.
Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, at the north and south ends of Park Lane respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson’s Column is a nationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, one of the focal points of the city center.
London has an abundance of skyscrapers to accommodate all its workers. Medium, and high-rise buildings are everywhere. London’s skyscrapers are found in the financial districts, such as the City of London and Canary Wharf. High-rise development is restricted in certain areas, however, where it would restrict the view of older buildings and damage London’s iconic skyline. Nevertheless there are a number of very tall skyscrapers in central London, including the 72-storey Shard London Bridge, the tallest building in the EU.
Other notable modern buildings include City Hall in Southwark with its distinctive oval shape, and the British Library near King’s Cross. What was formerly the Millennium Dome, by the Thames to the east of Canary Wharf, is now The O2 Arena, one of the biggest entertainment venues in the world.
London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world, tying with New York City as the most important centre of international finance. London itself generates approximately 20 per cent of the UK’s GDP. London’s largest industry is finance, and its financial exports contribute to the UK’s economy. It has over 480 overseas banks.
London’s status as a prominent international leader meant it was privy to the effects of the Late-2000s financial crisis. However, by 2010 the City has recovered and regained lost ground, re-establishing London’s economic parity with New York. The City of London is home to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London. The London Stock Exchange is the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world and largest in Europe. As of December 2011, it has a market capitalisation of US$3.266 trillion.
Over half of the UK’s top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies have their headquarters in central London.
London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark.
A growing number of technology companies are based in London, notably Tech City (aka Silicon Roundabout) in East London.
In February 2014 London was ranked as the European City of the Future in the 2014/15 list by FDi Magazine.
London has the highest property prices of any European city. On average the price per square metre in central London is €24,252 (April 2014). This is higher than the property prices in other G8 European capital cities; Berlin €3,306, Rome €6,188 and Paris €11,229.