Many analysts expect that property investment in Canary Wharf should achieve returns higher than average returns in London
. This is because prices of properties in Canary Wharf should increase not only due to general price recovery in London, but also due to a phenomenal growth of Canary Wharf as the London's major employment centre with improving transport links.
Canary Wharf rivals the City of London as the UK's financial centre. Its tenants include major banks, such as Credit Suisse, HSBC, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Barclays, law firms such as Clifford Chance, as well as major news media and service firms, including Reuters and the Daily Mirror. It has also gained more tenants from the public sector including the Financial Services Authority and 2012 Olympic Games organisers LOCOG and the ODA.
Canary Wharf is the UK's new financial centre and the fastest growing business district
. Its working population increased from 15,000 in 1999 to 63,000 in 2004 to 78,000 at the beginning of 2006 and is currently projected to rise to 160,000 by 2012. According to the Mayor of London's "London Plan" (the strategic plan for the development of London in the next 15 years), "...Canary Wharf is already known globally as a prime focus for banking headquarters, as well as for financial and business services. …The planning framework for the area should consolidate and expand this role. It should aim to accommodate at least 150,000 jobs in total by 2016". The Local Development Framework envisages Canary Wharf to provide around 20.5 million sq. ft. (1.9 million sq. m.) of new office space and 100,000-150,000 new jobs to 2016.
Plans for Canary Wharf to more than double in size are well underway
. Two massive new schemes are planned to provide a further 6 million sq. ft. (555,000 sq. m.) of commercial space for the short term alone. The projects, Riverside South
and Wood Wharf
, will be landmark developments adding further dramatic architecture to Canary Wharf's skyline. Planning permission has been granted for the Riverside South development of two towers designed by Richard Rogers Partnership (work began in April 2007) and in 2006 the company announced that State Street Corporation, KPMG, and Bear Stearns had signed deals to move to new HQ buildings on the estate. The new State Street, Bear Stearns and KPMG Headquarters buildings are currently under construction with work expected to complete in 2009. Following these three buildings, Canary Wharf still has planning permission for two additional buildings of approx 15 storeys - one next to KPMG's new HQ on Canada Square and one next to State Street at Churchill Place. Also, 1.5 million sq. ft. (139,000 sq. m.) of additional office space is already designated at Canada Square, and a planning permission has been granted for two large towers and a mid-rise building at North Quay
Moody's Investor Services has indentified Canary Wharf as the best European office market, where rents are most likely to rise. The district had a vacancy rate of 0.5% out of 7.9 million sq ft, equivalent to less than 40,000 sq ft, in its completed buildings at the end of June 2007. Another 1.3 million sq. ft. of space that is currently under construction is already leased. The report covers markets from 24 European cities.
The improvements to the communications infrastructure linking Central London, Canary Wharf, the City Airport and the Olympic Park, will result in one of the best public transport networks in the world. The DLR will have its capacity increased by 50% with residents enjoying a 15 minute direct service to Stratford. Canary Wharf is one of the most important stations on the proposed Crossrail project, which will link the estate with Heathrow in the West and the Thames Gateway in the East.
Increasingly, Canary Wharf is becoming a popular shopping destination, particularly with the opening of the Jubilee Place shopping centre in 2004, taking the total number of shops to more than 200 and increasing employment in retail to around 4,500. About 500,000 people each week shop at Canary Wharf.
The immense demand for goods and services has led to an impressive choice of hotel, conference, concert & banqueting facilities; theatres & cinemas; and health & sports clubs. There are 5 multi-storey shopping malls, restaurants and bars abound, so too, an array of fashionable boutiques.
Canary Wharf remains one of the most highly specified urban areas in the world with over 20 acres of landscaped parks, squares & promenades.
Given the massive expansion of new office developments and excellent transport links, Canary Wharf is set to continue its draw for high quality employment driving demand for easily accessible quality living space and thus offering exceptional long term property price growth and prime rental returns from "blue chip tenants" for property investors.
Canary Wharf property investment: useful links
Off plan property investment: advantages
Stratford property investment
Greenwich property investment
UK and London property
Flats and houses in Central London
UK property investment