Elite London property – out of your price range?
For businesses looking to expand and make a mark for themselves, image can be all-important.
If potential consumers, partners and clients get the sense the company is a tin-pot operation, they are likely to steer well clear.
But conversely, if the business is able to present itself as a professional, upwardly-mobile organisation – and deliver goods and services at an attractive price point – they can become successful very quickly.
While the internet may help small, home-based businesses assume the guise of a larger company, there is only so far a firm can go without its own head office and HQ.
Bigger companies usually need to locate themselves in the major trading centres in order to be on the pulse in their chosen market.
And with the Global Financial Centres Index recently naming London as the best city in the world to do business, the capital may be the best bet for many ambitious firms.
But the problem with London is that demand for top-tier commercial property has an inevitable inflationary effect on prices.
In short, it is rather expensive to set up a base in the Square Mile, or indeed anywhere else in the centre of the city.
Just last week, CBRE reported that central London offices continued to buck the wider UK commercial property trend in March, with total returns increasing to 0.6 per cent, up from 0.5 per cent in February.
And Kelvin Davidson, property economist at Capital Economics, said the market is performing strongly relative to everything else.
“Central London for a while has been by far the best performing market and there are a lot of investors keen on the perceived safe haven benefits of central London offices,” he added.
“There is investor demand there and also there is the lack of supply. There hasn’t been any new stuff built really for two or three years, so the level of demand is going to put upward pressure on prices.”
Realistically, many companies will never be able to afford their own headquarters at the heart of the capital – but this doesn’t mean they are unable to base themselves from there.
They can choose a range of business services according to demand, from mailboxes right up to full administrative support, without all the overheads associated with setting up their own independent office.