Planning applications and permissions for Prime Central London (PCL) residential property in 2021 reached the highest level since 2016, according to new research from Global real estate advisor, CBRE.

A total of 1,675 applications and permissions were submitted for PCL in 2021. This represents an increase of 140% when compared with 2020 which saw 698 applications and permissions submitted, demonstrating early signs of recovery in development activity.

Restrictions on international travel over the last two years has limited overseas buyer demand, which has likely contributed to this slowdown in development. According to the report, the average number of applications and permissions in the last five years in PCL has fallen by 70% compared with the five years prior, signalling a significant supply shortage in PCL in the next few years.

Jennet Siebrits, Head of UK Research, CBRE commented: “The resurgence in activity in Super Prime locations, combined with the inevitable supply shortage, presents a significant opportunity for developers to time their run onto an active market.” 

Marcus Bradbury-Ross, Head of CBRE’s Private Office added: “There is a misconception that there is a lot of choice available in the Prime Central London market, but this is simply not the case. Sought after schemes have been quietly selling throughout the pandemic, resulting in scarcity of available properties. However, there are off-plan options for those that are willing to wait. Buyers should get advice on how to navigate the imbalance in the market and to ultimately secure properties in the most sought-after locations.”