The release of the slightly disappointing UK GDP stats today reminded me to update my analysis of planning activity in London’s West End. These actually show a very similar story with the precipitous declines over the April and May halted and activity just starting – ever so slightly – to tick up again.
Overall, applications were up c. 12% on last month, at about 236, albeit still considerably below the c. 400 a month one would normally expect in the West End at this time of year, although “proper” planning applications (as opposed to conditions, trees, tables and chairs and everything else) are still flat.
Of course, it’s quality not quantity that counts.
Again, I’ve also included an indexed comparison of application numbers against GDP (and against a three-month rolling average) as well. Obviously, the average is still showing a decline because this month’s gains are not enough to counterbalance the trend from the last couple of months.
(As before, the two vertical blue lines are the global financial crash in ’08 and the start of lockdown in March 2020.)