Investment Spotlight: City of London
Skyscrapers in financial center City of London, London, UK.

Investment Spotlight: City of London

To accompany our insightful London Short-Let Property Playbook 2020, I’ll be writing regular updates for you on one of the 33 London Boroughs, because it’s not only New York that never sleeps!

The first area thrust into the spotlight is the City of London (CoL); the first borough covered in our Playbook. How is it handling the pandemic?

As you might expect with an area at the heart of the UK’s financial industry, there
are BIG plans in the offing. To buttress these plans, CoL has implemented
measures to ensure it bounces back relatively unscathed. 

The CoL Corporation has prudently deferred rents for 12-months across a whole host of businesses; retail, leisure, food and beverage, serviced offices, and some small office tenants. So, service industries supporting the neighbouring financial behemoths are well placed to survive and thrive once a sense of normalcy returns.


Historic Move

Anyone who’s stumbled out of Fabric nightclub in Farringdon of an early morning will be familiar with the hustle and pong of CoL’s Smithfield Market. The sight of surly meat handlers going about their business beeping forklifts and hauling great slabs of meat whilst covered in blood, jars with your night of revelry. This arresting experience is soon to be one which you tell your children about, once they’ve been to Fabric too!

The Museum of London has recently been given the green-light to develop that part of West Smithfield. It’s sad to see such an iconic market go, one with over 800 years of history! What’s more, it’s ironic the market will become an exhibit at the museum that will inhabit its current space. Given the central London location this change was somewhat inevitable.  

The museum in its current form and location is certainly looking tired and unloved. It also tends to be overlooked when it comes to London’s major attractions. You will find it ranking at 12th of 15 in the capital’s most-visited museums.

The developers claim it has the potential to break-in to the top-ten in London attractions. This would mean, at the very least, 150,000 more visitors per year. With all the nightlife and transport connections of Farringdon on its doorstep, this area of the CoL is sure to rise in stature.

As a property investor this can only be good news given the added attractions in the area.  Cultural hotspots, especially ones attracting large investments, like the £337 million in this case, are a great portent for the short-let rental market. 

Latest Developments

Most developments and the financing attached to them have been put on ice throughout the first few months of the pandemic. However, the CoL corporation is now reporting an increased number of enquiries from developers and businesses from across the globe. This is on top of the projects already underway, such as the ‘Vertical Village’ 22 Bishopsgate and the ‘Hanging Garden’s’ of London at 50 Fenchurch Street, to name but a remarkable couple.

Post-Pandemic Outlook

There are developments aplenty and extensive measures to protect existing businesses throughout the Square Mile. So, stability in the area is looking good. For your expected yields and more insight The D’Rews London Short-Let Property Playbook 2020 provides an essential overview for the astute property investor.