London

One of the world’s most dynamic capitals, London carries serious gravitas - a global leader politically, economically and culturally. A bastion of history and emerging trends, its cultural institutions and leading educational colleges, from the Tate Modern to Kings College, attract visitors and foreign students from across the world. Travel the globe and tell people you live in London, and most likely they’ll share a life long dream to live there too. The breeding ground for so many fantastic musicians, artists, writers, free-thinkers and fashion icons, there’s something about its iconic culture that makes it seriously aspirational. From the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, David Hockney to Alexander McQueen, it is associated with freedom of thought and cultural expression. This has inspired foreign residents from across the world to choose London as their home, defining the city by the endless array of languages you hear on the street and the diversity of its dynamic food scene. While in recent decades, London may have thrived as a global leader for finance, start-ups and tech innovators, it’s this cultural openness that helps make the city so treasured and unique.

Overview

United over 32 districts and an area of 1,572km sq, even locals can feel daunted at times by its sheer size. Yet what makes it seem so vast is London’s superb transport network, enabling its 9 million residents to hop around with relative ease –there’s little excuse not to visit that friend or new restaurant opening on the other side of town.

Where possible, Londoners love to travel by foot, exploring the endless parks and green spaces that take up half of the city and make London one of the most verdant capitals in the world. Fast-paced and ever-changing, it’s this connection with nature that provides a welcome balance to Big City Life. Here, residents enjoy the best of London’s attractions – from first class museums to the finest Michelin starred restaurants– while recharging with strolls in Hyde Park or swims in the lakes on Hampstead Heath.

A mecca for cultural lovers, the city boasts a non-stop roster designed to educate and entertain – from intimate music halls to stadiums, world-class theatres of the West-end to Opera Houses and galleries. Alongside cultural institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Gallery, the city teems with smaller art galleries showing some of the world’s best up-and-coming talent.

Explore London and you’ll soon find that the city is really a patchwork of small villages, each with their individual character and quirks. From the charming pastel-tones of Notting Hill to the trendy East-End, South Kensington’s glamorous terraced houses to up-and-coming property developments along the South Bank, when it comes to buying property in London, there is truly a perfect fit for everyone. 

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The experts say

London’s popularity amongst global property investors has meant a lot of local residents and first-time buyers find it increasingly competitive to get a foot on the housing ladder. On the upside, this has created a booming rental market, providing owners of flats and house in London with high rental returns. In the past few years, local creatives and young families have flocked to the east of the city, transforming areas like Shoreditch, Dalston and Hackney from urban back-waters into hip upmarket neighborhoods. While great deals can still be found East, its South London where the biggest opportunities now lie.

The luxury property market in London

Property prices in London have long been defined by their meteoric rise, doubling every decade. While the recession saw prices in the UK decreases overall, in London they remained robust.  As the margins of the city increase to cater to demand, clever investors and first-time buyers are constantly looking ahead for London’s next hotspot, on the hunt for affordable property before gentrification drives up prices.

For both residential and commercial buyers, what makes London so exciting is the scope of opportunities available for a range of budgets and lifestyle aspirations.  While commercial property for sale in Central London is predicted to reach a plateau in coming years, opportunities abound in up-and-coming neighborhoods. And if residential properties for sale in central London is also predicted to level out post Brexit, its regeneration projects in areas like Southwark and the East End  where some of the most exciting new developments can be found.  Savvy investors have already set their sites on neighborhoods like Shoredicth, Paddington and Ealing Broadway, which are expected to see a price increase of up to 50% by 2020 thanks to their proximity to London’s Cross-Rail project.

Property prices vary from one street to the next, but the most important criteria for buyers is often proximity to tube stations, the lifestyle and of course the size and amenities that the property offers. Flats and houses for sale in London are constantly in demand, while the rental market is one of the highest in both Europe and the world.

The London property investment market is increasingly becoming popular among foreign investors. It was seen as a safe haven during the economic crisis and the market continues to perform at a stable rate. This huge influx of foreign investment is good news for the city, but has pushed prices up, forcing local residents further out of traditional central neighborhoods and has resulted in more London commercial properties being put up for rent or sale. In response, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has introduced ambitious plans for to build 50,000 affordable housing in the coming years. 

How to Get There

By Air

London is a huge hub for air travel, with easy access to the US, Europe and Asia. It is served by five airports scattered around Greater London.

London Heathrow is the busiest airport in Europe, a port of call for most international carriers and Gatwick has developed quickly over the last five years to address the increase in demand. Heathrow and Gatwick are currently in a tug of war over which airport should be granted the rights to expand.

London City Airport is a gem of an airport and is a favourite with Londoners. It is compact and conveniently located minutes from Canary Wharf and the City for quick European escapes.

Low-cost carriers usually fly from Stansted, Luton or Gatwick airport.

By Rail

London is connected by train to the rest of Europe via the Eurostar, located at King’s Cross St. Pancras station. Close to the heart of the city, it’s accessible by multiple tube and bus networks and the recently regenerated area offers a wonderful selection of restaurants and hotels for travellers.

Weather

Spring / Summer

While it can be 30°C in London on a few exceptional days in July or August, it’s safer to assume the average temperature in the afternoon will be around 23°C.

Fall / Winter

At the behest of Britain’s maritime climate, Londoners know that there is little they can rely on but the unpredictability of the weather. Residents tend to be master dresses, prepared for baking sunshine, seasonal showers and gusting northerly winds in a single day. Yet London’s temperate climate also means that locals are saved from serious extremes: The highs in the summer are not too warm and the winters rarely see the temperature go below 0 degrees Celsius. December on average is the wettest month of the year, whereas July is the driest.

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