London Dig Uncovers Roman-era Skulls

London’s junior market grows for first time since 2007

“Central London is appealing as it is outside of the euro zone, [the] sterling is weak, interest rates are low, and there is relative ease of entry and exit In addition an imbalance of demand and supply has led to increasing capital values,” he added. ) Last week the Centre for Economics and Business Research – a U.K.-based think tank – forecast London property prices would leap a staggering 43.5 percent by 2018, pushing the average London home price up to 556,000 (US$893,658). By contrast CEBR found that house prices in the East of England and Scotland would rise by 27 percent over the next five years. The boom has been attributed to the government’s Help to Buy scheme which is set to launch on Tuesday, and offers taxpayer-subsidized mortgages. (Read More: UK acts to reduce housing bubble fears ) Invest into the property upturn: CEO Richard Tice, CEO of CLS Holdings, tells CNBC that they are developing properties in London and also looking at acquisitions both in London and across the rest of the UK. According to Levene, London’s property market is now seen as a safe haven among Singaporean buyers looking to diversify their property portfolio and safeguard their investments. Further compounding this trend, unattractive conditions in Singapore’s domestic market are pushing investors elsewhere. “The domestic market [in Singapore] is expensive and opportunities are limited. This has led to buyers looking elsewhere for real estate investments,” he said (Read More: Taper terror may leave Singapore property unscathed ) Singapore is home to one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. Prices have soared over 60 percent since mid-2009 spurred by a low interest rate environment. A two-bedroom apartment located in Singapore’s central business district averaged between SG$1,080,000 (US$864,207) and SG$4,200,000 (US$3,360,806) according to property website propertyguru.com.sg. Fears over a bubble forming in the market have led policy makers to unleash eight rounds of restrictive measures in recent times, and the moves now appear to be taking affect, with some analysts now forecasting a slump in prices. Barclays analysts recently warned that Singaporean property prices could be headed for an up to 20 percent correction by 2015. “For those who might not have previously considered looking at overseas real estate as an investment, this now becoming a realistic option as taxes on local property investment purchases increase,” added Levene. Tim Gibson, manager of the Henderson’s $1.2 billion Asia Pacific Properties fund, told CNBC that the rise in Singaporeans’ appetite for London properties has been an ongoing trend for a while.

Accountancy group UHY Hacker Young said 20 companies floated on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in the three months to Sept. 30, while 16 delisted. This was the first time more had joined than left since the third quarter of 2007. “More companies are again looking at an AIM initial public offering as an opportunity for growth,” said Laurence Sacker, Partner at UHY Hacker Young. AIM’s attractiveness to UK retail investors has been boosted by the government’s decision earlier this year to allow AIM stocks to be included in individual savings accounts (ISAs) – popular tax-free products – for the first time. The research showed 56 companies joined AIM in the 12 months to the end of September, raising a total of 881 million pounds ($1.42 billion) – up 70 percent on the previous 12 months. The overall value of companies listed on the AIM market was 67.7 billion pounds as of August, according to data from the LSE, down from a peak of 97.6 billion pounds in 2007. Stronger equity markets have helped revive new listings in Europe after years of subdued activity due to the financial crisis, with London one of the busiest destinations. Separate data from Ernst & Young over the weekend showed that, when the LSE’s main market is also included, more than 3 billion pounds has been raised from London listings so far this year, double the amount raised in the whole of 2012. Sacker said next year also looked busy for AIM, but the market is still a way off returning to previous levels – in the 12 months to Sept. 30 2007, 8.8 billion pounds was raised by AIM IPOs. “The deal pipeline is looking healthy.

London Internet Exchange (LINX) Selects CoreSite Data Center for First North American Peering Exchange

(See “Rome’s Ruins.” ) How much of a surprise was it to find Roman skulls? It is never a surprise to find the remains of burials in London! The size of the city and its long history mean that you are never very far away from a burial ground, whether it be Roman or later. One could say that much of central London was a traditional burial site! Museum of London Archaeology and Crossrail’s archaeologists have been working for a decade to predict the likely archaeological remains in the areas of the works, and how to deal with them in advance of construction. However, whilst we knew that we would encounter burials from the 16th-century Bedlam burial ground, it was not at all certain whether Roman graves would turn up. Although known from past finds in this part of London, the sheer number of skulls we have found, currently more than two dozen, has indeed surprised us. Have these finds changed, modified, or shaded-in previously held perceptions of life in London in Roman times, or of the ancient geography of the city? These finds are very important, as they help us to characterize the nature and use of one of London’s “lost” rivers, the Walbrook. At this very early stage, we are not sure whether the finds will change or modify our perceptions of life in Roman London. What we do know is that they will help us to fill in another gap in the Roman map of the city, allowing us to fill out the information we already have. Each archaeological investigation helps us to join the dots and fill gaps in our knowledge. How important was the River Walbrook to London in Roman and medieval times? The Walbrook formed a useful water supply, not only for daily life, but also for industry such as tanneries on the edge of the medieval city. However, the many branches of the stream may have been as much of a hindrance as a benefit to the Romans, who expended much effort to force the watercourses within the city of Londinium into channels revetted with timber, and [who dumped] large quantities of earth to reclaim adjacent ground for building.

An archaeologist digs out a possibly Roman skull from the site of the graveyard of the Bethlehem, or Bedlam, hospital next to Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. The dig is on the site of the future ticket hall for the Crossrail station at Liverpool Street.

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