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London’s luxury housing market is enduring a lonely lockdown. Homes in the most expensive areas of the capital are sitting empty for more than two months before finding tenants, the longest waiting period since the last financial crisis, as per property data company LonRes.

And that’s despite rents recently plummeting at the fastest annual pace in a decade. An exodus of office workers and dearth of global visitors has hammered swanky hotspots such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge, forcing landlords to slash their rents or see their properties stay unoccupied.

The number of luxury pads up for rent in central London has surged by 75% from a year earlier. For owners of the multi-million pound homes, it could be a long winter. Restrictions that resumed or tightened in the latest lockdown which started this month are likely to keep a ceiling on rents for some time yet.

As tenancies expired last year and the pandemic kept new residents away, a flood of vacant homes came onto the market. Landlords have also struggled to fill short-term rental properties popular with tourists as well as those aimed at international students and visitors.

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