UK business

London tops European cities for property investment

by Ray Clancy on March 25, 2016

A dozen of Europe’s most dynamic cities have been identified in a new index ranking in terms of being great places to invest in real estate.

Many expats want to buy property as an investment for their retirement or when they return home and the latest City Momentum Index report places London top of the list, followed by Dublin and Paris with Istanbul included for the first time.

The index, from real estate services company JLL explains that the top cities boast long held strengths in technology, deep talent pools and ambitious urban development plans.


“The European top 12 identifies those cities where change is occurring most rapidly. Istanbul joins this group for the first time, where, despite geopolitical headwinds, it displays remarkable dynamism. The ranking combines real estate dynamics such as investment, property prices and construction with socio-economic factors,” said Jeremy Kelly, director of global research at JLL.

“Istanbul is a city which is taking bold steps to improve its infrastructure and is building a modern real estate portfolio as it grows into its new skin as a global business centre,” he added.

London also ranks first in the Global top 20 for a second consecutive year as robust economic growth and commercial real estate fundamentals are complemented by initiatives which are transforming the city’s transport and building on its unique strengths as a global education and technology hub.

The report explains that the US$22 billion Crossrail project is the largest transport scheme in Europe, while new university campuses such as the US$1.5 billion campus for Imperial College London in White City, which is being planned as London’s first major research quarter, are establishing new networks between business and education.

London is top but the current index is dominated by what are described Europe’s New World Cities with Dubin in second place, Randstad in fourth place, Munich in fifth, Stockholm in sixth, Copenhagen in sevenths, Berlin eleventh and Barcelona 12th.

The report explains that these smaller, innovation-oriented cities combine strong infrastructure platforms with a high quality of life and resilience against changing economic conditions.

“Investors are increasingly looking towards long term trends such as demography and technology when making asset allocation decisions, driven by their search for sustainable income,” said Kelly.

“Cities such as Dublin, Stockholm, Berlin and Copenhagen have among Europe’s highest concentrations of high-tech start-ups, strong research systems and are home to many millennials, a testament to the dynamism and long term potential of the continent’s New World Cities,” he added.

UK cities have maintained their strong position in the list. In addition to London at the top there is Manchester in ninth place and Edinburgh in tenth. Sound economic fundamentals are credited with their success and devolution measures are set to boost further the competitiveness of these two cities, according to JLL.

Outside the top 12, momentum is increasing across the region, with Madrid, Vienna and Brussels showing the greatest improvement globally in their CMI score over the previous year.


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