Social unrest puts London among Europe's least "liveable" cities

London may be top of the tree when it comes to the property market, business and tourism, but the capital is among the “least liveable” cities in Europe, according to new research.

London was actually the third least desirable place to reside, only beaten to the bottom of the European rankings by Athens and Lisbon, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual liveability index.

The index examines a variety of factors to find a city’s liveability rating, including infrastructure, healthcare, environment, education and stability.

Clearly London is not up to scratch.

The survey examined 140 cities worldwide, and Melbourne in Australia was awarded the top spot, with Vienna in number two and Vancouver on Canada’s west coast taking third. Somehow even Detroit, with its decaying buildings and fleeing population managed to gain a higher rating than London.

The key reason for London’s poor showing is growing social unrest, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said.

Jon Copestake, an EIU analyst, said it was the stability factor that had dragged London down. Measures for stability include the threat of terrorism, civil unrest, crime and war or conflict.

Copestake also cited the 2011 London riots and the likelihood of a repeat as a major issue for the capital.

But London’s poor showing hasn’t dented the capital’s ability to attract foreign investment in its property however. According to the Financial Times, at least £122bn worth of UK property is now owned by offshore companies, and property prices have climbed an incredible 20% over the past year.

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