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UK defies Brexit gloom by dominating Savills Investment Management’s 2018 Dynamic Cities index 

  • London and Cambridge occupy first and second places, with Oxford ranking eighth
  • UK cities represent 5 of Europe’s top 20 dynamic metropolitan centres, and 11 out of top 40
  • The Savills IM Dynamic Cities index comprehensively measures European cities’ future-proofing qualities

London: Five of the top twenty European cities ranked by Savills Investment Management’s 2018 Dynamic Cities are in the UK, the highest amount of any country. Germany and Switzerland tied for second place, with three cities each.

The Savills Investment Management (Savills IM) index ranked London and Cambridge first and second, respectively, with Oxford (8th), Edinburgh (12th) and Bristol (16th) making up the UK’s top 20 European cities.

A further 6 UK cities rank inside the top 40 European cities – Manchester (29th), Newcastle upon Tyne (31st) Belfast (33rd), Cardiff (34th) and Birmingham (39th) – bringing the total to 11 and underlining the continued resilience of the country’s metropolitan areas in the face of a slowing economy, high street store closures and the challenges posed by Brexit.

Savills IM’s Dynamic Cities analyses and ranks 130 European cities across 6 categories (Innovation, Inspiration, Inclusion, Interconnection, Investment and Infrastructure). The index highlights those cities able to attract and retain talent, spur innovation and increase productivity, which encourages the wealth and population growth that drives successful commercial real estate markets.

The UK was particularly strong in the Inclusion category, occupying 4 of the top 5 rankings – Cambridge (1st), London (3rd), Oxford (4th) and Edinburgh (5th), and 7 of the top 20. Inclusion measures a city’s diversity in terms of culture, ethnicity, religion, age and gender; public transport links and affordable living. These factors benefit economic growth by attracting a diverse and broadly skilled population, which in turn is proven to have a positive effect on the surrounding region’s income and real estate values.

 Irfan Younus, Head of Research, Europe, at Savills IM, commented:

“While the continued dominance of London as Europe’s leading ‘supercity’ will reassure those investors concerned by the threat of Brexit, what is particularly encouraging for the UK is that its cites have performed more strongly than any other country in responding to the threats and opportunities caused by urbanisation.

“Cities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh are punching above their weight compared to European counterparts and have what it takes to attract investors – namely, infrastructure investment projects, fast-growing knowledge networks, high quality universities, innovative businesses drawing from a global talent pool and strong cultural amenities to help retain that talent.”

“Our Dynamic Cities index identifies cities with sound fundamentals which are best placed to take advantage of developments such as urbanisation, the knowledge economy and technological change.”

The majority of Europe’s top 40 cities consolidated their places in this year’s index by increasing their scores, underlining their continued progress. Highlighting the importance of long-term urban planning, analysis in this year’s report shows that over the last 20 years the top 10 dynamic cities have collectively outperformed the EU-28 overall in terms of GDP and employment growth, providing a backdrop for stronger real estate investment performance.