London is the leading city in Europe for use of technology in the built environment, according to new research.

Legal firm Osborne Clarke’s ‘Future Proof Real Estate – is the property sector ready for the 2020s’? report outlines how the technology sector thinks innovation will change the face of the built environment in Europe over the next three to five years.

More than two fifths of tech experts – 42 per cent – believe that London is leading the pack, well ahead of rival cities from the continent.

The top five was rounded out by Amsterdam (28 per cent), Berlin (26 per cent), Paris (23 per cent) and Stockholm (23 per cent).

And 39 per cent said London is most likely to rank number one in five years’ time.

“The UK capital has a long, successful history with the property market, attracting developers, investors and landlords from all over the world,” said Osborne Clarke’s head of real estate and infrastructure Conrad Davies.

“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.”

London

There are also a number of trends helping drive an increased interest in technology in the built environment.

“Real estate in London is also vulnerable to a number of trends driving the PropTech agenda: co-living – driven by housing shortages and London prices – and co-working, driven by the increased demand for flexibility,” said Davies.

“Both of these rely heavily on technology.”

The report suggests that Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris are expected to close the gap in the next five years as they witness accelerating digital innovation in the property sector.

Amsterdam, for example, is already developing a number of smart ‘neighbourhoods’, including Strijp-S in Eindhoven and Slim Seingraaf in Duiven, whilst increasing investment into automated vehicles and intelligent travel systems.

Germany, too, is seeing changing attitudes towards digital innovation in real estate, where exciting business problems have now been solved, such as using new technologies to revolutionize portfolio management or logistics and fulfilment.

Similarly, in Paris government programmes are helping to drive the acceleration of PropTech investment.

“The real-estate sector has been criticised in the past for being an industry that has failed to embrace technology and innovate,” said Davies. “However, this is changing rapidly and the market is starting to open up to the opportunities technology brings.

“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 for as we continue to see accelerated growth in the use of PropTech in cities across the globe.”