London number one “City of Influence”

London has been ranked number “City of Influence” by Colliers.

The firm’s latest report, which compares 20 major individual economic cities in terms of talent, location and cost, found that the UK capital remains one of the most influential cities in the world.

The report arrives despite predictions that companies would lose faith in the capital due to political uncertainty and the perceived threat to business of Brexit.

“The outcome of the EU referendum made many nervous that we would see a mass exodus of businesses relocating from London. Indeed, some sceptics predicted 100,000 finance and business services jobs would be likely to flee to the continent, and only recently, HSBC and UBS confirmed that they would start transferring staff within the next two years, and Barclays said it would move around 150 jobs to Dublin,” says Guy Douetil, Managing Director, EMEA Corporate Solutions.

“Relocation on the scale of 100,000 jobs is not possible to achieve in such a short space of time. No single city in Europe has the capacity to absorb 100,000 jobs at short notice, from a talent perspective. These jobs would need to be distributed across a range of target cities possessing the latent capacity and skills to absorb these jobs. Even then, this would absorb the available skilled workforce of cities such as Dublin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. However, although a relocation of jobs on this scale would not be possible, it would be feasible to re-distribute 10,000 jobs across a range of skilled cities. This could generate cost savings from a real estate perspective, of up to €70 million per year, but this would need to be offset against relocation costs.”

Paris, which holds the second spot behind London, is the leading market when it comes to output/orientation, future skills and capacity and affordability/cost. Paris also scores particularly strongly when it comes to the size/experience of the latent talent pool, driven by higher levels of short-term unemployment than those available in London. Yet when it comes to the final results, factoring in market risk, the UK capital takes the reins.

The UK;s labour laws are far more relaxed in London than in Paris, which has been a major driver of businesses location decisions in favour of London. Outside of the big two markets, Manchester, Stockholm and Dublin are the three cities which feature most highly at 3rd, 4th and 5th place, respectively.

Madrid and Barcelona both have strong affordability/cost scores, and high latent talent pools, but suffer from a high country/labour market risk factor. This knocked Madrid from 3rd to 8th, and Barcelona from 7th to 16th.

Damian Harrington, Director Head of EMEA Research at Colliers International, adds: “With the recent announcement by the UK Prime Minister, that the UK will be seeking a clean exit from the EU single market, and the upcoming elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, there is clearly a lot of country risk impacting both the UK and the European Union.”

“London may be one of the most expensive cities from a real estate standpoint but when taking all factors into consideration, and the ability of the city to re-invent and evolve, it is superior to all other major European cities in this study,” he adds.

Confidence certainly still seems high in the UK capital’s future, with tech giants such as Apple, Google, Facebook and IBM all re-affirming their commitment to London and the UK economy at the end of 2016.


London “continues to attract population from all over the world”

12th January 2017

London “continues to attract a diverse population from all over the world”, confirms new research from CBRE.

The UK capital has been the subject of much debate in the last year, following the country’s vote to leave the European Union. As Britain prepares to trigger Article 50 and begin negotiations with EU surrounding the terms of its exit, there has been much speculation about whether London can still retain its global appeal to businesses and investors.

Over 8 million people reside in London, though, and this number is going up, according to CBRE’s latest research. Currently the capital has 270 underground stations, with Crossrail promising another 40, which the firm also notes is proof of London being “one of the very best connected cities”.

40 per cent of the capital, meanwhile, is made up of green space, including eight royal parks.

Mark Collins, Chairman of Residential at CBRE, comments: “Despite the uncertainties and turmoil of last 12 months, these findings highlight that London remains a major global city. With a robust economy and a world class offering of education, culture, creativity and heritage, London continues to attract a diverse and increasing population from all corners of the world.”

london global infographic