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London: Tech growth could see soaring property prices
9 Nov

The continued expansion of global tech firms could see property prices in some parts of London soaring by up to 60% in five years’ time, according to one of the capital’s leading estate agencies.

Kay & Co are an estate agency that specialise in property sales, lettings and block management services within central London. “Tech giants are choosing to move their international headquarters [here], ramping up their investment in the UK”, Kay & Co managing director, Mark Bikhit, told the Financial Times.

Indeed, in spite of prevailing Brexit uncertainty and contingency plans to move outside of the UK, a number of tech giants have continued to commit towards UK investment.

In July 2017, a year on from last year’s Brexit vote, Google announced London as the latest region for its Google Cloud Platform (GCP).Facebook also took up residence in its new headquarters at One Rathbone Square whilst Snap, and its parent company Snapchat, recently signed a decade-long lease on 7-11 Lexington Street in Soho. 

Other social media giants include Twitter with its HQ in Soho and Instagram which has set up shop in Convent Garden.Key & Co states that the relatively high cost of living in London compared to other tech cities is offset by the depreciation in the value of the pound.

Other benefits include London’s strength as Europe’s financial hub and the strength of its universities, drawing in some of the best minds around.The UK Government’s recent pledge to invest £1.9bn in cyber security and a further £1bn in faster broadband has also contributed to London’s continued popularity among tech giants as well as the growing popularity of fintech start-ups in the area.

Bikhit says that with so many tech companies vying for a place amongst London’s elite coupled with a finite resource such as property, competition is tight. Indeed, in spite of new developments taking place, a limited source of property in Soho, Fitzrovia and King’s Cross could demand outweigh supply.

“They’re slap bang in the middle of town; there’s only so much you can do. There is Rathbone Square, and some more boutique developments as well, but you’re not going to have oversupply because of the nature of the area”, Bikhit said.

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