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LONDON-Confidence is beginning to return to the property markets as the expectation of a severe economic downturn recedes, according to Savills. In a year-end trading statement the quoted agency firm said market were beginning to stabilise after the post-11 September turmoil.

Leasing markets continue to be hit by the problems of occupiers canceling or reducing their space requirements, the firm said, and this is particularly severe in the Asian market, which is very exposed to the problems of US-based multi-nationals. But lower interest rates are helping to sustain demand for property investments.

Residential markets have seen a price adjustment and in particular in London asking prices have dropped by between 10% and 15%, although values are still higher than they were a year ago. However residential markets in the Midlands and the North have been strong.

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