London skyline: is the capital becoming a mini New York?

by Housesimple on 14th May 2017

If you own a property in New York, it's safe to say you can count yourself lucky. House values in the Big Apple have steadily been increasing by at least 5% year-on-year, and that's not set to change anytime soon. As the ninth most costly city in the world, they city's property prices are rising as high as its impressive skyline. 

However, across the pond, it seems like the British capital is catching up, with London house prices shooting past those of New York since 2012. And it's not only the home values that are looking a little similar these days: the London skyline is changing, and there are a good few parallels with it's stateside cousin.

Spreading the wealth

While New York’s skyline is hard to beat, London’s new builds near the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge are turning a few heads. Residential skyscrapers like St George Wharf Tower and the upcoming Spire are giving buyers ‘streets in the sky’. 

Similar to Brooklyn, many areas of London have seen the rise of gentrification, with new markets, pop-up stores and food courts appearing every year. However, unlike in New York, these prime areas are lined with listed buildings that are in the reach of established buyers. Average house prices sit just above £925,000 in Barbican, while in Poplar, properties sell for an average £460,000. You won’t find somewhere near the Empire State Building for that.

An eye on the past

London’s lag on the skyscraper front has had its benefits. In the same way that the listed buildings system prevents specific properties being altered too much, the ‘protected views’  arrangement guards spots with spectacular views of London's historic monuments. These can be found throughout the capital, from Blackheath to Primrose Hill, as well as the likes of Lewisham and Alexandra Palace.

Even if city views aren't your thing, London has a few other selling points for history buffs. It has 38 more museums than New York, including local gems like the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill and Lambeth's Garden Museum.

Rising higher

Since Canary Wharf was first built just over ten years ago, the City of London has embraced some new and innovative architecture. The Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the Shard have all popped up since 2003, with more to come.

Thanks to these developments, it’s not only the residents of the Docklands who have a skyline to admire. Over in the East End of Stepney, Hackney and Bethnal Green you'll find great views of these new structures. There’s also access to the jobs and transport links they’ve brought with them thanks to improved tube hours and the promise of Crossrail.

London house prices have knocked New York off the top spot, but there's still a bargain to be had in the British city. With a skyline that's always on the up and a wealth of eateries, museums and attractions drawing in buyers from all over the world, London is far from being a mini New York – this city has a charm that's all its own. 

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