The Russians are back in Kensington and looking at houses. In its prime Central London index, published today, Knight Frank, the estate agent, reports that viewings in the capital's swishest districts were up 28% in February.

Russian buyers, in particular, are inquiring about period homes or new developments with 24-hour security, a concierge service and other such essentials. Elena Norton, of Knight Frank's Russian desk, says that previously her clients had been preoccupied with their business interests or househunting in France.

A combination of sterling's weakness and bargains has brought them back to Kensington, Belgravia and Knightsbridge.

The Times