London Outperforms New York, Hong Kong
UNITED KINGDOM – The latest quarterly Global Cities Survey published by London Property Alliance (LPA) in partnership with think tank Centre for London showed that London had surpassed its rival financial hubs New York and Hong Kong in terms of economic output, office space demand, and growth of employment, reported OnLondon on Wednesday evening (16 March, SGT).
For instance, London’s commercial real estate market, which is considered as a vital economic barometer, saw selling prices of office space in West End increase to levels higher than before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, although that’s not the case for the City of London.
Moreover, the vacancy level of office properties in Central London declined in H2 2021 and it’s currently hovering at less than 8 percent versus Manhattan’s 20 percent. However, the capital’s “return to the office” seems to have slowed down in February, based on office visits statistics. By that measure, London is ranked 4th out of the 5 cities surveyed.
In Q4 2021, it was reckoned London’s gross domestic project (GDP) increased by more than 1 percent compared to Hong Kong, which saw a sharp decline in economic output of 8 percent.
London’s unemployment rate also marginally dropped from 5.6 percent to 5.2 percent, despite the termination of the furlough scheme in September 2021. This compares favourably with the unemployment rate drop in New York, whose government didn’t implement a furlough scheme.
London “seems to have demonstrated a smoother transition from pandemic to endemic” but stressed that the full impact of changes in travel, working and shopping habits remains unclear and the Ukraine crisis is now a complicating factor, “with falls in consumer and investor confidence likely to send some economic gains into reverse,” said Alexander Jan, co-author of the survey and Chief Economic Adviser at LPA.