London’s 10 Largest Land Owners

We recently came across an interesting article on London Loves Business‘ website about who has the largest investment and owns the most land in London. Believe it or not, despite its size most of London’s expensive leasehold properties are owned by just a handful. Whilst we know that a lot of our favourite London landmarks such as Harrods, the Shard and Claridges, are owned by Qatar, we were surprised that the Crown Estate did not feature higher up the list, instead placing 6th, and that the Duke of Westminster did not feature at all.

10/ Network Rail Limited 

  • Own 4,814,586 square feet of London
  • Own and operate the majority of the UK’s rail infrastructure
  • Includes 20,000 miles of track
  • Also has its own property portfolio with a number of sites it rents out to commercial occupiers, as well as garden and amenity land, parking spaces and some rights of access


9/ Legal & General Group

  • Own 6,494,798 square feet of London’s land
  • Despite owning all that land, they actually only lease their eight storey London Headquarters on Coleman Street, one of the city’s most distinctive office buildings


8/ BNP Paribas

  • Own 6,845,758 square feet
  • Third largest bank in the world and one of Europe’s leading commercial property developers
  • Holds titles in trusts for its wealthy international client base


7/ Segro Plc

  • Own 7,034,678 square feet of land
  • Europe’s largest industrial property company


6/ The Crown Estate

  • Own 7,280,719 square feet
  • Includes all of Regent Street and much of St James’
  • The Queen privately owns two properties, Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House
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Regent Street

5/ Government of the United Kingdom

  • Own 8,208,039 square feet of London
  • Own an expansive London portfolio which includes one of the world’s most iconic addresses, number 10 Downing Street


4/ Aviva Plc

  • Own 8,235,328 square feet
  • The world’s fifth largest insurance group and one of Europe’s largest property investment managers
  • In charge of £23 billion of real estate funds


3/ Transport for London

  • Own 14,642,252 square feet
  • Works with 13 property partners to make money from its substantial land assets in London with a plan to develop more than 50 sites over the next 10 years


2/ The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London

  • Own 15,533,688 square feet of London’s land
  • Includes 12,000 acres of green space including Hampstead Heath and Highgate Wood
  • Own Tower Bridge


1/ The Government of Qatar 

  • Own 22,798,973 square feet
  • Own most of the Shard, lots of the financial district in Canary Wharf, Harrods and No. 1 Hyde Park, the world’s most expensive block of flats
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No.1 Hyde Park

In light of Brexit, this does pose an interesting outlook. Of the largest commercial property owners, the only other countries that feature (not just in the top ten but more generally) are Qatar and Kuwait. No European countries even feature in the top 20. If the pound is slightly weakened, foreign investors from outside the EU will remain interested in having a stakehold. Whilst many fear Brexit will cause an exodus of people, other parts of the world will seize it as an opportunity to invest.







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