London is Europe's top city for business and investors
For the second year running London is Europe's top city in terms of prospects for economic growth in an overall outlook for European property which is described as good despite the credit crisis, according to the ninth European regional Economic Growth Index released Tuesday by LaSalle Investment Management.
The annual report identifies those European cities expected to be in greatest demand among occupiers over the medium term and of most interest to investors and developers. Close behind London and for the second year running comes Paris. The ranking compiles the top 91 European cities using a combination of economic growth factors, the overall level of wealth, and the relative attractiveness of the local business market. LaSalle believes there are positive market fundamentals across Europe, large volumes of capital still targeting European real estate and transaction levels are expected to remain strong in the second half of the year, despite the recent credit crisis. "Europe has a group of key cities which are the principal locations investors should focus on. London, Munich and Paris are the stand-out markets of the moment that will offer consistent occupier demand through the business cycle", said Robin Goodchild, head of European Research, LaSalle Investment Management, commented According to LaSalle, the cities in the top order have remained the same as the 2006 list but the ranking has changed significantly. Although London, as Europe's financial capital, has retained its number one ranking, Munich has moved ahead of Paris on the back of its booming economy, pushing Dublin down one place to fourth and knocking Madrid out of the top five cities to tenth place. Number five figures Stockholm, followed by Luxembourg, Helsinki, Stuttgart, Oslo and Madrid. LaSalle Investment Management said that London's position is mainly driven by high GDP, employment growth and the financial sector, which dominates the city's economy. London has established itself as Europe's financial capital and in many financial activities has a larger share of the global market than New York. However, its economy is not just based on financial services; London is also a central hub for high tech companies, a leading force in creative industries and one of the three most important centres for medicine and biosciences in the UK while it's much maligned infrastructure is being boosted for the 2012 Olympics.