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London tech-centres may boom despite Brexit, agency forecasts

An estate agency has used the experiences of Cambridge, Oxford and other cities to forecast that pockets of central London's housing market will boom thanks to high profile investments from global technology companies.

Joining Apple in Battersea Power Station, Google in King's Cross, Twitter in Soho, Facebook and Instragam in Fitzrovia, is the latest tech giant – Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, which has announced it is moving its international headquarters to Fitzrovia.

Kay & Co has analysed data from Cambridge, Reading and Oxford - where tech firms moved in and local housing markets rose in value by up to 60 per cent in five years - and the agency now predicts the same may happen in Fitzrovia, Soho and Kings Cross.

“Tech giants are choosing to move their international headquarters, ramping up their investment in the UK. Rental values in Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury and Soho averaged £659 per week for flats and £1,025 per week for houses in Q2 2017. Average flat prices in Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury & Soho are now 52 per cent higher than they were five years ago, with buyers paying £534 more per square foot" explains Martin Bikhit, the managing director of Kay & Co.

He says that whereas Battersea - where Apple's 2,000 staff will be based - is flooded with new properties, there is a relative shortage of homes in Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury and Soho.

The agency is especially optimistic about Kings Cross. It says average flat prices in the area are now 48 per cent higher than they were five years ago, with buyers paying £311 more per square foot. Some 53.7 per cent of properties sold in Q2 2017 sold within three months, compared with 24.5 per cent for the rest of central London. 

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