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Liquidity In London Reaches Post-Lehman Levels


The liquidity of the London investment market is at a low not seen since the depths of the financial crisis, in spite of protestations from market participants that there is a wall of capital waiting to invest in the city, according to new data from Real Capital Analytics.

According to RCA’s latest Capital Liquidity Scores report, Central London liquidity is at a level last seen in 2009, with buyers holding back because of the deep political uncertainty created by Brexit negotiations.

“Central London stands out as one of two major markets where liquidity is below its long-term average,” Tom Leahy, RCA's senior director of EMEA analytics, wrote in the report. “It is now at a decade-low as both buyers and sellers wait for more Brexit clarity before they commit.

“Liquidity is at the lowest level since 2009 and yields have moved out. For some, London will offer better value, especially the long-term investor who takes the view that the market can ride out the Brexit storm. For other investors, the continued buoyancy of the Paris market is a strong buying indicator in itself.”

RCA uses six factors to measure the liquidity of a market: volume, number of unique buyers, percentage share of global cross-border investment, percentage share of investment-grade deals, percentage share of global market-maker investment and percentage share of zone market-maker investment.

The report said Manhattan is the most liquid market in the world, followed by Berlin, Paris, San Francisco and Boston.

Central London investment volumes have almost halved in the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the same period of 2018, according to data from CBRE.