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Hammerson announces blue-chip tenant talks

In a sign that demand for property is beginning to pick up in the city of London, Hammerson, one of the U.K.'s largest corporate property companies, has announced that it is in talks regarding the possible pre-letting of two office developments in London. This is the first major sign of any significant interest in the corporate property market and against a backdrop of difficult trading in the financial sector it is most welcome.

It will be interesting to see if further demand develops in the short to medium term because ultimately this could place a floor on rental values in and around the city and ultimately create a springboard for recovery in 2010. However, the fact that demand would appear to be growing in London does not help other areas of the UK in the short term but could, if the trend continues, see liquidity return to the property market and UK banks begin to offer support again.

Many property companies in the UK have been forced to sell off some of their assets at rock bottom prices simply to avoid cash flow problems and debt repayment issues. While many had expected this particular trend to continue for some time to come, there are signs that perhaps the "bottom fishers" in the property market may have had their time.

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