The capital and most populous city in the UK, London stands on the river thames and has been a major settlement for over two millennia, going back to its founding by the Romans.
Grater London has a population standing of over 8.63 million people, the largest municipality in the European union.
A leading global city, London’s strengths are founded in the arts, education, entertainment, finance, fashion and healthcare. Home to one of the largest financial centres in the world with a GDP that sits fifth in the world, London is the worlds most visited city.
London’s metropolitan area generates around 30% of the UK’s total GDP.
The largest industry in London is finance and along with New York, London’s financial district vies with it for the largest financial centre in the world.
In February 2014 London was ranked first in the European City of the Future by FDI Magazine.
London’s second most competitive sector is media, the BBC is a significant employer while numerous other broadcasters have headquarters in the city.
Over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies have their headquarters in London along with over 70% of the FTSE 100.
Property prices in London are the highest of any European city according to the ONS (office of national statistics).
The average price per square metre in London was €24,252 in April 2014, higher than prices in any other EuropeanG8 capital city.
The average property price in London is now 2.2 times that of a regional home according to ONS.
Flats were the highest sellers in London last year with an average price of over £535,000, Terraced properties were second with an average price of just over £800,000 and semi detached coming in at just under £890,000. This gives an average price of £645,000, more expensive than any other county in the UK.
House prices have risen 6% in the last year and they are 26% higher than they were in 2012, showing that London is still the king of capital growth in the UK.
London may not have the highest yields available but when you combine the capital growth with a respectable 4-6% yield then you get a very respectable overall return on your money. London’s low volatility also means its seen as a safe haven for overseas money, with over 50% of new homes bought being from overseas buyers.
Housing demand in London is at an all time high, inflated property prices have driven a large percentage of would be buyers into renting.
London’s population is continually growing and is anticipated to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Many investors have decided to look toward the conversion of houses and council flats into HMO’s to increase their yield. Using this method, gross yields of up to 10% are possible, however you do need to factor in costs of conversion and the potential for higher management charges.
Breaking down the rental performance of different types of property shows that flats performed better than houses in 2014. The average rents for flats increased 7.8% versus 5% for houses.
Census data from 2011 showed that a quarter of London households are now living in the private rented sector, an increase of 15.5% from the last decade. This shift is predominantly down to affordability.
Home to 43 universities, London has the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe.
A study from 2008/09 shows that over 17% of the entire UK student population study’s in London, around 412,000 students.
London is home to some of the worlds leading universities including Imperial College London and The University of Cambridge (both ranked joint 2nd), University College London (ranked 5th) and Kings College London (ranked 16th).
2014 saw record levels of university applications across the UK, thanks mainly to a marked rise in applications to London Universities and from Women.
Overseas students still see London as a focal point with 1 in 5 students studying in the capital being from overseas. As an example, the London School of Economics consists of 45% overseas students.