The last weeks of 1998 saw some major transactions in the prime London residential market, despite statistics from agents which showed falling house prices.

The freehold of 17 Cadogan Place, SW1, home of the former Conservative MP Sir Alan Glyn, who died last year, was sold for above the £3m asking price. The agent, Patricia Farley of Farley & Co, said that the house needed refurbishment and restoration, but achieved more than the asking price because of the rarity of a freehold in Chelsea.

Gary Hersham of Beauchamp Estates also noticed the speed of transactions during the Christmas shopping season.

He showed a buyer from the Middle East the 1930s house at 22 Weymouth Street, W1, at 1pm. At 2.30pm the buyer’s and seller’s solicitors met. By 3.45pm contracts were exchanged at above the asking price of £2m for a 934-year lease from the de Walden Estate.

Luxury flats also sold well, with WA Ellis selling a 75-year lease on a flat at 38 Pont Street, SW1, for more than the asking price of £2m.