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Brexit has caused all manner of uncertainty in London. With falling house prices and an uncertain future for the financial markets, it seems almost certain that the landscape is likely to significantly change in the city in the coming years. With these uncertainties in mind, it is a relief to see some news that shows that the UK’s capital is still a draw. This news that a record sum has been paid for office space in London’s trendy Berkeley Square is a welcome surprise. The space, located at 30 Berkeley Square, has been snapped up for the startling sum of £250 per square foot by hedge fund Steadview Capital. This sum blows out of the water the previous record-high paid by Lawrence Stroll, the fashion investment tycoon, which was £190 per square foot for his St James’s offices in 2017.


The news will come as welcome relief to those who worry about London’s position as a world-leading financial centre. A slowing property market combined with high living expenses mean that the capital is struggling to maintain its edge. This is in no small part due to Britain’s protracted exit from the European Union. As our political classes struggle to wrestle with the country’s future relationship with its european neighbours, it is the business community that is suffering the worst of the damage. Uncertainty reigns, and that can never be a positive for businesses.


Brexit Induced Fear

Of course, as we alluded to, much of the uncertainty currently afflicting the UK is related to Brexit. The UK’s historic decision to end its more than four-decade membership of the European Union was a shock. This shock has lead to almost three years of infighting by our political classes, and little being made in the way of progress.


If handled well, Brexit actually offers the UK some benefits: the ability to trade freely for one. The problem being that so far, the process has not been handled well at all. By any measure, you would be hard-pressed to support the way that parliament has gone about ensuring that Britain’s exit from the union is being delivered smoothly and quickly.


It is this Brexit induced fear that needs to come to a swift conclusion for the UK to get back to doing what it does best: business. News stories like this one show that the UK is still a very desirable place to do business, our politicians just need to ensure that it continues.


A Strong Future

The ongoing concerns in the city are likely to be temporary, and while they do reflect the general feeling across the UK, historically the British economy has proved extremely robust, even through two world wars.


The confidence shown by Steadview Capital shows that London is still a major financial centre and well worth significant investment.


It is businesses like Steadview Capital that will define the UK’s future. The decision to expand in this climate is a brave one, but hopefully it will assist other businesses to take the plunge and take advantage of the current market conditions. The dampened market offers bargains to those looking to expand, and while £250 per square foot sounds expensive, Steadview Capital clearly think that they have snapped up a bargain.


There is clearly the potential for those brave enough to expand in the current conditions – and not just in London, but throughout Britain as a whole. You also do not need to snap up new office space to do this – internal expansion is another alternative that is even more cost-effective. Now may be an ideal time to expand, just look at Steadview Capital!

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