Property technology, or proptech, has been taking the housing industry by storm in recent years, and the UK comes out on top for its high levels of innovation in the space.
Although the London-specific property market has slowed slightly in recent months as house prices have peaked, UK property is arguably still one of the top investments globally, and investment in the proptech sector has been on the rise.
A report from legal firm Osborne Clarke, titled Future Proof Real Estate – is the property sector ready for the 2020s?, has revealed that 42% of experts named London as the leading proptech city in Europe. Runners up included Amsterdam in second place with 28% of the vote, Berlin with 26%, and Paris and Stockholm each with 23%.
Strength in London property
Importantly, future predictions for London are also extremely positive, with 39% of those surveyed believing the city will continue to rank as number one for proptech in the next five years.
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Explaining London’s top position, Conrad Davies, head of real estate and infrastructure at Osborne Clarke, said: “The UK capital has a long, successful history with the property market, attracting developers, investors and landlords from all over the world.
“London is also the technology capital of Europe, largely driven by the fact that it attracts the most venture capital investment in Europe and has a mature tech ecosystem. These two factors combined mean it is understandable that London is fast becoming the proptech capital of Europe.”
Spreading and growing the industry
While London has long since been the prime location for property investment, and therefore investment into technology related to real estate, things will inevitably spread further afield – particularly as other housing markets across the country begin to outpace the capital.
Proptech covers a huge range of aspects involved in the property market – from digital design solutions for architects and developers as well as smart home and smart city technology, to online housing portals, new apps and options for landlords and investors, and even buying and borrowing digitally. While the housing industry may have been criticised in the past for being slow to adapt, it is clear things are now changing – with the UK leading the way.
Davies added: “It is a good thing for the sector – allowing those in the property industry to capitalise on new income streams and emerging asset classes.
“The next five years will certainly be an exciting time as we continue to see accelerated growth in the use of proptech in cities across the globe.”