A subsidiary of the technology giant Samsung has decided against opening its European headquarters in London because of the expensive price of living, saying that this city is “not a fun place to live unless you are really rich”.
Felix Petersen, the managing director of Samsung Next Europe, a $150m technology fund owned by the South Korean company, told The Times that the fund had chosen Berlin instead. He said that it had become “increasingly hard for people to build companies” in London and that there were no sensibly priced neighborhoods left there.
In Berlin, you can “do stuff without much money”, Peterson believes, adding that the city is home to “uncommercialised zones”.
“In London, the cost of living, the cost of getting around and the infrastructure mean it’s not a fun place to live unless you are really rich, especially for young people,” he said.
Peterson added that for those wanting to raise children, it has become nearly impossible to make ends meet in London.
According to official data, the average house price in London has reached almost £500,000 (around $650,000) this year, making it one of the world’s most expensive cities. Berlin is still seen as comparatively inexpensive, especially when paralleled to other German cities, like Munich and Frankfurt.
Other than the price factor, London is battling to retain talent after the UK’s vote last year to leave the European Union. So far, London appears to have at least retained its appeal for investors in the technology sector.
According to a report published last week by London & Partners, the London Mayor’s promotional agency, venture capital companies pumped more than £1.1bn into the city’s technology sector over the last six months.
The report showed that London’s tech sector attracted more venture capital investment over that period than any other European city since the Brexit vote, including Dublin, Paris, and Amsterdam.
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