Shaftesbury said its strategy to invest in prime areas of the West End was proving resilient to the broader market downturn.

In an interim trading statement, it reported 'healthy demand' from occupiers for retail, restaurants and residential in its Carnaby, Covent Garden and Chinatown portfolios but warned that demand for its offices, making 23% of its income, was moderating and vacancies were rising. It is converting offices to other uses where possible.

Shaftesbury said that property values had continued to fall over the previous quarter. It said it had committed unutilised bank facilities of £75m and was trying to increase this to take advantage of future opportunities. It said its portfolio was not immune to the deterioration in economic outlook and general sentiment but the levels of activity and strong tenant demand gave it confidence.

Financial Times