The London riots this summer certainly grabbed plenty of headlines, but has the civil unrest had a lasting impact on the city's property market? According to the director of Housenetwork Graham Lock, there hasn't been any lasting damage. "There was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction for about a week after. [...] It scared a few people but it soon calmed down and the London market's still really strong."
He particularly pointed to districts in the east of the capital that are currently benefiting from the influx of investment ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games - and the interest that comes with it. Mr Lock noted that the construction of the Westfield shopping area in Stratford will help the region maintain its appeal long after the sporting event has finished next summer.
At the time of the rioting in August, property analyst at JPMorgan Harm Meijer told Reuters that investors may be deterred from investing in retail locations in suburbs around the capital as a result of the disturbances. However, research published by Knight Frank in October described the London retail sector as "going from strength to strength". The organisation acknowledged that areas such as Hackney, Haringey and Croydon were badly affected, but stressed that it had done little to dampen investors' appetite for retail assets in the capital as a whole.
It would appear that the predictions Jonathan O'Regan, senior surveyor at Savills, gave to Reuters in August have been borne out. He stated: "For our investors, it's all about the long-term view, so I don't think it's going to have an effect. It will pass as quickly as it came." Last month, Knight Frank predicted five per cent house price growth in the London residential sector, which may encourage more investors to target the city. Meanwhile, CB Richard Ellis research recently revealed that the commercial real estate sector in the capital is continuing to offer good returns, with a 0.1 per cent improvement noted between September and October of this year.
- Tuesday 22 November 2011