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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

London agent's £8m 'try before you buy' bid to combat market stagnation
 

A central London agency has launched a ‘try before you buy’ lettings offer on an apartment being marketed for sale at £8m - a move aiming to help vendors in the capital’s increasingly-troubled sales market.

Kay & Co is offering a buyer the opportunity to rent, with no minimum term, a three bedroom two bathroom property on Hallam Street, W1 before committing to purchasing. 

“This is a rare opportunity for potential purchasers to move into a fully and very elegantly furnished apartment on a short term basis and decide if they would like to buy it whilst experiencing life as if they already had” says Martin Bikhit, Kay & Co’s managing director.

The property is available to rent fully furnished for £6,500 per week; a spokeswoman for the company said the trend of letting properties as vendors wait for buyers was now increasingly common for central London properties with asking prices of £5m and above.

There has recently been a welter of reports from agencies on the weakness of the central London housing market, with most commenting on extremely sluggish sales this autumn.

Yesterday Portico talked of a “contagion” spreading across the prime London housing market with sales reduced drastically thanks to stamp duty and increasingly because of mortgage constraints. It claimed transaction volumes were down in 31 out of the 32 boroughs with London-wide sales down 18 per cent on this time last year.

Last week Foxtons’ figures to the City spoke of London transactions being at “historically low levels” and before that there were pessimistic forecasts on the capital from high-end agencies Knight Frank and Savills.

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