Author: Elizabeth Matsangou
19 Jul 2016
In a surprising move, considering the economic climate following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Wells Fargo has signed a deal to purchase new headquarters in London for £300m. The world’s largest bank by capitalisation is set to buy 33 Central, an 11-floor, 227,000 sq ft development on King William Street, near London Bridge. Wells Fargo’s London team, which is currently located across four buildings around the city, will move all 850 employees into the new space by 2018.
The property market in London is still in a state of uncertainty, with large property developments currently under review
According to the Financial Times, the property deal is one of the biggest since the referendum vote on June 23, contradicting concerns the London property market will take a huge hit as a result of the vote. Significantly, the bank’s plans are also a huge vote of confidence in London continuing to act as a financial capital of the world – with or without the EU.
Nonetheless, the property market in London is still in a state of uncertainty, with large property developments currently under review, such as a 62-level skyscraper on Bishopsgate. Investors are also refraining at present, particularly in light of recent forecasts, such as that given by housing market analyst Henry Pryor, in which he estimated London property prices will plunge by 10 percent by the end of the year.
Even with so much pessimism, there is a glimmer of hope London’s property and financial sectors will continue to thrive outside of the EU, as demonstrated by the bold move played by Wells Fargo. Others too are seeing profitable opportunities, including US-based Madison International Realty, which is reportedly planning a £1bn spending spree in the capital amid the general pull out of investors. Ultimately, the future of the UK’s key markets is unclear. That said, a catastrophe is unlikely, particularly as many still see the vast opportunities that remain on offer, even in the post-EU UK.