As the clean up from the weekend of rioting continues, questions are being raised about the long-term implications of the events on London's commercial property market. Fortunately for the industry and many businesses, offices have been largely spared from the ruin that befell many retail premises during the nights of violence; driven partly by looting for consumer and monetary gain.
Whereas in some quarters the events have led to fears that the fragile recovery of the property market will suffer a set back, especially as many investments in the London market come from abroad, Liz Peace from the British Property Federation has assured that: "contrary to the somewhat apocalyptic voices from some quarters, the sort of assets that attract large-scale and overseas investment in commercial property are definitely still standing and are largely unaffected."
Although the riots may not directly affect investment in central London, the effects on the outer boroughs may yet be cause for concern. Convincing business to stray outside the CBD can already be a difficult task and the knowledge that during times of civil unrest central London is likely to be left unscathed could lead investors to rethink suburban and regional locations such as this (photo taken by Kyle of Lewisham High Street).
In contrast, a coup for the Westfield development containing millions of square feet of office space, currently being marketed by CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield, is that the Stratford area was relatively untouched by the violence - despite being in a similar position socio-economically to many of worst hit areas. Whether due to policing tactics or well-behaved locals such as myself, this can only be good news for the September opening and future letting prospects.