Crime is an unfortunate reality that has a significant impact on commercial real estate in London, as it does in many cities around the world. Criminal activity not only poses a threat to the safety and security of employees and customers but also affects property values and rental rates.
In this article, we will explore the impact of crime on commercial real estate in London and compare it to other cities in the United States.
According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, there were over 400,000 recorded incidents of crime in London in 2020, ranging from theft and burglary to assault and robbery.
These figures demonstrate the significant impact that crime can have on businesses in the city. In particular, small businesses and those located in high-crime areas are at greater risk of being targeted by criminals, leading to lost revenue and reputational damage.
One of the most significant impacts of crime on commercial real estate in London is on property values. Research from estate agents Knight Frank found that properties in areas with high crime rates were worth up to 40% less than those in low-crime areas. This highlights the importance of security measures and the need for businesses to take steps to mitigate the risk of criminal activity.
In addition to property values, crime also affects rental rates in the commercial real estate market. Landlords are often required to lower rents to attract tenants to properties located in high-crime areas, leading to reduced income and lower returns on investment.
Furthermore, businesses located in areas with high crime rates may face higher insurance premiums, further impacting their bottom line.
London is not alone in facing these challenges. Many cities in the United States, such as New York and Chicago, also struggle with high crime rates and their impact on commercial real estate.
In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that crime is a significant factor that influences the decision of businesses to locate in certain areas, particularly in urban environments. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in crime in Southern California,” says Erik Egelko, a Commercial Real Estate Broker.
However, there are significant differences in the ways that London and American cities approach crime prevention and the impact on commercial real estate. For example, the New York Police Department’s Community Policing Program has been successful in reducing crime rates in the city, particularly in high-crime areas such as Harlem and the South Bronx.
This has led to increased property values and rental rates in these neighborhoods, as businesses are more willing to locate in areas that they perceive as safe.
In contrast, London has seen a rise in crime rates in recent years, particularly in areas such as Westminster and Camden. While the city has implemented measures such as CCTV surveillance and increased police presence in these areas, many business owners and investors remain concerned about the impact of crime on commercial real estate.
To gain a better understanding of the impact of crime on commercial real estate in London, I spoke with Ben Gershlick, Director of External Affairs at the Centre for London. According to Gershlick, “Crime has a significant impact on commercial real estate in London.
Businesses are less likely to locate in areas with high crime rates, which leads to reduced demand for commercial space and lower rental rates. Furthermore, investors are less willing to invest in properties located in high-crime areas, which can lead to lower property values.”
Gershlick also highlighted the importance of addressing the root causes of crime, stating that “Preventing crime is not just about increasing police presence or installing CCTV cameras. It’s also about addressing issues such as poverty, inequality, and social exclusion that can contribute to criminal activity.”
One of the most effective ways to mitigate the impact of crime on commercial real estate is through the use of technology. For example, the use of smart security systems, such as facial recognition and license plate recognition, can help identify and deter criminal activity.
Additionally, the use of data analytics and predictive modeling can help identify high-risk areas and enable businesses to take proactive measures to reduce