The efficiency of the UK’s vaccination roll-out and the subsequent easing of lockdown restrictions have brought a renewed sense of confidence into London’s Prime Central London (PCL) market. This is most welcome, given how challenging, volatile and uncertain the past 18 months have been.
To date, over 42m people in the UK (approximately 80% of the adult population) have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 30m have had both their jabs. Indeed, the rapid progress of the programme has meant that the UK is among the countries with the highest vaccination rates globally. As I will come on to, there are several reasons why this is significant for the PCL market.
First and foremost, the inoculation drive is set to have a positive impact on the UK economy as a whole. This is reflected in the Bank of England’s forecasts for GDP: in May, it upgraded its outlook for UK GDP, predicting growth of 7.25% in 2021, up from its previous estimate in February for growth of 5% this year. The Bank’s significant upward revision is attributed to an anticipated surge in consumer spending and investment activity, with the vaccination roll-out earmarked as a critical factor in both trends.
Has PCL turned a corner?
If the past year has taught us anything, it is how difficult and at times futile it is to make bold assertions about what the future holds. Let us start, then, by evaluating the current state of the property market.