Christmas is a time to think of those less fortunate, and Metropolis was pleased to see the property sector again stepping up in respect of that motto.

Savills bought London investment specialist Gresham Down in a bid to bolster its commercial arm and capitalise on an influx of overseas capital at a time of “uncertainty around the eurozone”.

The firm also appointed Gresham Down managing partner Stephen Down to lead its London capital markets team.

Another story from January 2012 that resonates today is that of the private-equity-owned Brunel Centre in Swindon, which was put into receivership. The mall had been bought by CIT for £130m in 2005, funded by a £111m Deutsche Bank loan, and been valued at £87m in November 2011.

Plus ça change…