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Most of the sales in Central London over the past year were flats which on average sold for £1,480,160. Terraced properties had an average sold price of £3,825,830 and semi-detached properties averaged at £2,375,250.
Central London, with an overall average price of £1,626,219 was more expensive than nearby West London (£1,125,671), South West London (£717,217) and North London (£676,172). The most expensive area within Central London was Westminster (£1,585,088) and the cheapest was City Of London (£978,711). In the past year house prices in Central London were 15% up on the year before and 12% up on 2014 when they averaged at £1,449,966.
In the 12 months to March 2017, average rents across prime London fell 5.4%. Further marginal softening (-0.4%) in the first quarter of this year suggests they are still finding a level. The most significant falls were seen in the highest-value prime central London markets, which were down 8% in the year. Newly completed homes coming to the rental market, investors rushing to beat the introduction of the 3% stamp duty surcharge for investment properties in March 2016, and weakening demand from corporate tenants have combined to inflate the amount of stock being made available to the market. Although it is price sensitive, the rental market has remained relatively active. London still retains its reputation as a global city, so demand remains strong. Increased choice however, means tenants are focused on finding value and ‘best-in-class’ properties. Tenants are favouring new and newly refurbished stock over tired stock, so landlords are forced to reinvest to prevent void periods.
The economy of London is dominated by service industries, particularly financial services and associated professional services, which have strong links with the economy in other parts of the United Kingdom and internationally. According to Brookings Institution, London has the fifth largest metropolitan economy in the world. By way of comparison, London’s economy is roughly the same size as that of Sweden or Iran.
London is today the centre of operations for almost two out of every three Fortune 500 companies and the European hub for one out of every three large global conglomerates. Several well-known businesses such as HSBC, Barclays Bank, Virgin, BBC and many others have their headquarters at London. The London Stock Exchange is the largest in the world, and accounts for about 32 percent of all global transactions.
The City is projected to generate an additional £16 billion in output by 2025, equivalent to a rise of a third of its current size.
The City of London is a leading financial and business centre, generating £45 billion in economic output, as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), in 2014, equivalent to 14% of London’s output and 3% of the UK’s total economic output. In the City, specialised financial and professional services cluster together, providing employment for highly-skilled, highly-productive workers. The competitive advantages from both specific sector clustering and agglomeration benefits have helped to support employment and productivity growth in the City.
The City is projected to generate an additional £16 billion in output by 2025, equivalent to a rise of a third of its current size. The City’s productivity is projected to rise from £114,000 per job, to £141,000 per job, almost three times the UK’s productivity, enhancing the City’s competitiveness and ability to provide highly specialist financial and business services.
London’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level on record at just 5.8 per cent of the workforce in March this year. The previous lowest jobless rate, since records began in 1992 was 5.9 per cent.
London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world. In 2007 there were over 300 languages spoken in it and more than 50 non-indigenous communities with a population of more than 10,000. At the 2011 census London had a population of 8,173,941. Of this number, 44.9% were White British. 37% of the population were born outside the UK, including 24.5% born outside of Europe.
London is a major global centre of higher education teaching and research and has the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. According to the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, London has the greatest concentration of top class universities in the world and its international student population of around 110,000 is larger than any other city in the world. Imperial College London, University of Westminster and Brunel University London are just several from a long list of universities. The city is also home to five major medical schools, a large number of affiliated teaching hospitals and the London School of Economics.
The University of London has a long-established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, attracting students from all parts of the UK and from across the globe. London’s full-time student population is expected to rise by 50% in the next 10 years.
London offers a wide variety of transport options to enable seamless travel around the city. The London Underground, commonly referred to as ‘The Tube’, is the oldest and second longest metro system in the world, serving 270 stations. Transport for London (TfL) is also a huge employer recording over 25,000 staff in recent years.
London’s bus network is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with about 8,500 buses, more than 700 bus routes and around 19,500 bus stops.
Although the majority of journeys involving central London are made by public transport, car travel is common in the suburbs. The inner ring road (around the city centre), the North and South Circular roads (in the suburbs), and the outer orbital motorway (the M25, outside the built-up area) encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes.
Public transport is essential for connecting the wide pool of skilled labour in Greater London to the City and other central areas; 84% of the City’s working population travel to work using public transport, as do 34% of London’s working population.