London property consultant Johns And Co, a specialist agent in the premium new homes and luxury real estate market, is one of the sponsors of investor showcase event Buy London: The Developing Skyline.

The company provides lettings, sales and property management services at London developments including Embassy Gardens, 21 Wapping Lane and New Providence Wharf.

Having recently signed the lease for a new office at Royal Wharf, the firm’s founder and managing director John Morley is adamant east London’s residential market owes more to overseas investors than some might think.

He said as recently as eight years ago, Canary Wharf was little more than a place to work.

But as the shopping centres filled up with shops, bars and restaurants, the area became something more – a place to live.

He said: “We have now reached a situation where even people who don’t have jobs in the towers of Canary Wharf can live in the shadows they cast.”

And that, in part is down to the flow of money into London from beyond the UK’s borders.

“For this development in east London to happen, residential developers need overseas investors to buy off-plan,” said John, referring to the practice of companies acquiring properties that they have not yet seen. “This market is very appealing to the Far East.”

Rather than inflate the capital’s housing prices, John said such investment created opportunity where it would not otherwise exist, generating a “domino effect” of regional development.

This process then leads to increased employment, not only for estate agencies but for firms of architects and property management teams, as well as the service providers and retail outlets that spring up to cater for the needs of the new tenants and homeowners.

Johns And Co is, for example, one of the first to continue the off-plan development model by offering individual lettings off-plan, creating a process whereby potential tenants can sign a deal for an apartment as much as six months before construction is completed.

John said: “In the UK people want to touch and feel residential development. If developers were reliant only on UK investment, then these development would never get off the ground.”

He said if it weren’t for money coming in from overseas, there wouldn’t be anything for the English to buy into. Johns And Co, like many, is betting east London’s international appeal will hold for years to come.

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