- London West End property investor Shaftesbury said it had experienced 'high footfall and good trading' throughout the festive period.

The company said its underlying vacancy rate at the end of December was 3.6%, down from 3.7% at the end of September.

At total of £8m of leasing transactions had been concluded at or above September rental values during the three months through December.

'Traditionally, the period leading up to and throughout Christmas and New Year has always seen the highest footfall and busiest trading, and this year has been no exception,' chief executive Brian Bickell said.

'There are early signs of increasing activity in institutional property investment markets, although, in our locations, private owners remain reluctant to sell assets which, in common with our portfolio, offer both security and potential for income and value growth.'

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