“Post-COVID life” still seems utopian at this point, with businesses grappling for work-from-home policies and a universal panic that the global economy is crashing harder than in 2008. Those working from home are realising what they really want out of their property and living area, whether it be more indoor and outdoor space for the possible extension of lockdown, or an everything-on-your-doorstep area to avoid travel and transport in the future. But, if offices are becoming redundant and people are looking for more open space, why is London still the hot topic in the property world?
At the risk of sounding like a broken record among other articles on London real estate, London is known for its resilience to economic downfalls and remains a reliable investment as a result. There is no denying that COVID-19 will have a considerable effect on the UK economy, but if you are seeking capital retention then London is your city, as the attraction of its political and legal stability for both domestic and overseas buyers will remain consistent.
While London remains attractive from the perspective of long-term stability, the current economic situation poses as a worry for potential buyers, but we should recall the strong rebound London made after the credit crunch, with a 73% increase in house prices over the last ten years. Real estate trends often align with consumer confidence, which plummeted in 2008 as banks were insufficiently capitalised and the US housing bubble burst. The current situation differs from the financial crash in that health sits at its core – those negatively affected by the present state of the economy are obliged to accept that the government is having to find the balance between physical and economic health. This acceptance, along with the deployment of financial safety nets to avoid history repeating itself, will allow consumer confidence to recover sooner than in 2008 and the housing market will bounce back.
Economic worries aside, lockdown and work-from-home culture are changing what we want from our property and surrounding area, leading to many seeking new homes in more rural areas. On top of this, companies are rethinking their need for office space as working culture shifts to accommodate for post-COVID changes. However, businesses still view London as the best location for their base, with many looking to downsize their offices outside of the capital to move back to the centre, particularly with the view to attracting young talent who will not want to commute from afar. London provides an international business hub in a time zone that allows for communication with US and Asian markets during the day. Its connectivity with the rest of the world, both virtually and physically with its plethora of transport hubs, is what makes London so desirable. Young people are flocking to live where their work and social life can flourish in the vibrancy of London’s city landscape and they are within reach of everywhere and everyone once lockdown restrictions ease.
Demand from Hong Kong
Overseas buyers are also attracted to London’s range of assets, particularly as countries deal with COVID-19 in a variety of ways and politically divide their residents. Amidst the pandemic, Hong Kong residents have had to consider their long-term future residing there as China tightens its grip on security measures.
The recently enforced National Security Law in Hong Kong by Beijing has provoked the UK to open a route for nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents with British National Overseas (BNO) passports to live and work in the UK. This has triggered a surge of potential buyers, with Midland immigration consultancy experiencing 100 enquiries per day at the start of June. For many of these, London provides a similar vibe to living in Hong Kong, with its vibrant city atmosphere and hub of international business.
To sum up, nothing is putting a dent in people’s desire to buy, rent and live in London property, even as we endure a global pandemic and economic crisis. The capital city’s long-term capital retention and general vibrancy as a place to live will shine through the present struggles and prove to us that London’s property market is indestructible.
To learn more about the future of the London property market or to find out about our properties, visit our website fct-property.com or contact us today at