Real Estate London Residential Monitor – 8th Ed. UBS Evidence Lab inside: COVID-19 market impact

UBS Evidence Lab data from a real-time web-scrape of c.70-100k London property listings reveals pricing remains firm. Asking prices are up +2% yoy, albeit the rate of growth has slowed from mid-March (+4%) just before the UK lockdown began.

16 Jun 2020

Key trends across London

Source: UBS; UBS Evidence Lab (>Access dataset)

This column chart illustrates trends in London property in median asking price and average price from 2016 to the present.

Using big-data to uncover London residential market trends

We update our London residential monitor using data uncovered by UBS Evidence Lab. Based on a real-time web-scrape of c.70-100k property listings, we have created measures to track the health of London's residential market at a granular level. This 8th edition includes data up to 15th May – i.e. our first edition to include the COVID-19 period. Big picture: inventory levels (unsurprisingly) have fallen to a four year low, properties are on-market for a record 160 days, yet pricing trends remain firm.

Limited impact on pricing so far; inventory down sharply

In our last update, we saw a post-election bounce, with the first increase in asking prices in over 2 years. This trend has endured, despite the onset of the pandemic. Asking prices are still up (+2%) yoy, albeit the rate of growth has slowed from mid-March (+4%) just before the UK lockdown began. The share of reduced properties has continued to fall, even in recent weeks, now representing 24%, from a peak of 39% in November 2018. Supply has fallen off sharply – and at 68k listings – is the lowest since early 2016. As we drill down to individual boroughs, the prior strong trend of more expensive boroughs seeing the widest discounts has largely turned. Meanwhile the highest share of reductions now belongs to some outer London boroughs (e.g. Hillingdon and Harrow).

How we use this data

We use this data to keep track of trends that affect property companies, brokers and similar, Housebuilders, as well as its implications for the Banks and signals for the wider economy.

Authorized clients of UBS Investment Bank can log in to UBS Neo to read the full report.