Save, make, understand money


BLOG: London is another country

Jon Round
Written By:
Jon Round

All the talk of a Scottish referendum has made me wonder whether in fact it should be London that is separate to the rest of the UK…

In light of the latest LSL Acadametrics housing figures and most of the other indices, London’s performance, in so many respects, is hugely different to that of the rest of the UK.

Where the rest of Europe, and indeed the UK, has been suffering a downturn, London’s economy has been booming.

It appears to be perceived as a safe haven in Europe and investors from abroad have been flocking to London to invest their money and buy property.

As a result the London economy behaves completely differently to the rest of Europe and the Olympics will only enhance this as the world spotlight focuses on London even more.

It is not just the London housing market that is booming, London hotels are full, employment levels are high and London has a different air about it compared to other major British cities.

London creates, or shows up, challenges in the UK that also have surprising parallels with the Euro crisis. The problems with the Euro stem from the fact that we are trying to join together different economies, conditions and cultures.

Greece, which needs currency devaluation in order to prosper in the short and medium term, is tied to a strong German currency, causing inevitable friction. But in a not dissimilar way, struggling parts of the UK are tied to a very strong London where conditions are so very different.

Increasingly London is part of the global economy and less a part of the UK’s economy and there are no signs of this slowing down any time soon.

So as the prosperity of London is so different to the rest of the UK, will it be London calling for a referendum next…?

Jon Round is chief executive at First Complete