Aviva: Paris and London tower above the competition as Europe’s two megacities

Aviva has developed a tool, comprised of around 30 different metrics, which assess the credentials of European cities in an era of knowledge capitalism and we have assigned a ‘Future City’ score to each major city in Europe.

Those that score well should see robust demand for office space over the long term, according to Aviva.  By contrast, smaller cities with weak talent credentials are unlikely to fare well in an era of growing geographical inequality. Aviva’s tool enables investors to discriminate against such cities and in favour of those likely to be most economically successful.  

And where robust labour markets combine with favourable real estate fundamentals – particularly low supply side risks – long-term real rental growth can be expected, Aviva predicts.

Europe’s megacities

Europe’s two megacities, Paris and London, have a Future City score significantly higher than all the other cities. Both are cities that act as magnets for global talent and their scale gives them a major competitive advantage. They have the right credentials to drive growth in an era of knowledge capitalism and both have office markets characterised by significant constraints to new development, signalling scope for sustained rental growth over the long run.

Based on the findings of its proprietary ‘Future City’ methodology, Aviva Investors expects London and Paris to be the best-performing European office markets.

Chris Urwin, Director of Research, Real Assets, at Aviva Investors, said:

“With a city’s prospects defined more than ever by knowledge exchange and information sharing, London and Paris are expected to be the strongest magnets for global talent; relative to peers, both cities also benefit from the superior scale and their status as international hubs, alongside strong governance credentials.”


London is a global leader in talent with a relatively youthful population, favourable working age and population growth prospects, and very high number of graduate jobs. Sixty per cent of workers in London are tertiary educated and high skilled jobs total 1.7 million, 50 per cent higher than New York City. Many of these workers are employed in finance – London has the largest cluster of financial and professional services of any global city. And London has a number of highly regarded academic institutions and business schools. There are over 400,000 students in the city, so the future supply of talent is assured.


Paris is the largest city in Europe and hosts 29 of the 31 French companies listed in the Fortune Global 500. The workforce is highly educated and there is a significant concentration of knowledge intensive business services in the city. Paris is ranked fifth in the QS Best Student Cities Ranking and is home to 18 universities, some of the most famous learning institutions in the world, including the École Polytechnique and Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University.

Tomorrow, we take a closer look at Aviva’s identified international business hubs and regional powerhouses.

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