London has been identified as one of four ‘Super Cities’ that can boast a concentration of real estate investment
Cities are ever-changing and adapting over time. Some grow and others diminish in response to a range of economic, political and environmental factors. But they do this in fundamentally different ways, reflecting local reaction to regional, national and global changes.
It is hard to ignore the impact of global cities; they are strong economic and political powerhouses, and compete across international boundaries for capital, corporations and talent. London is a very clear front-runner, with its strong economic fundamentals, high levels of cross-border investment, positive outlook and reputation as a global tech hub. It is projected to be a continued focus for property development over the next decade. The building activity visible on the skyline is testament to its enduring power and attraction, and ensures that the capital is an exciting and dynamic place for a real estate professional to work.
London is a very clear front-runner, with its strong economic fundamentals, high levels of cross-border investment, positive outlook and reputation as a global tech hub
JLL’s recently published Global 300 research report: The New Commercial Geography of Cities, highlights how and why 300 cities account for 72% of real estate and investment activity and 80% of the commercial office stock globally – although only 17% of the population and 38% of the GDP. There is a further concentration within the top 30 cities of half of this commercial real estate investment. As a result of globalisation, urbanisation and modernisation four of these cities, including London, have the status of “Super City”.
I have never used a research paper for travel planning and it is by co-incidence that business and leisure travel last year allowed me to visit the other three “Super Cities”: Tokyo, Paris and New York. This elite group of cities all have an influence and scale, strong corporate foundation and a large, high quality and varied building stock. They wield significant economic might, particularly in the global commercial real estate market.
For those of us lucky to work in the London market we look forward to another exciting year with development activity accounting for over 25% of the new construction starts in the UK last quarter. What remains an endearing quality is how London together with the other “Super Cities” does this while retaining its own distinct character and style.
Helen Gough is head of JLL’s Buildings & Construction team