Regalian Properties' offer of a two-year, mortgage-free payment plan - for a new GBP350,000 (about HK$4.54 million) flat in Kensington in Central London - received a slow response from Hong Kong buyers over the weekend. The developer said 12 buyers had signed up to take advantage of a 90 per cent mortgage on the 56 luxury apartments offered at an exhibition in the SAR. Last January, 64 of 134 smaller units sold in Hong Kong for about GBP170,000 with mortgages set at 80 per cent of value. Despite the substantial difference in prices, the offer of a 90 per cent mortgage means the up-front cash payment for this latest batch of larger units is just slightly higher than for the smaller units sold last January. 'We are offering significantly higher-priced properties with virtually the same cash outlay as in January,' Regalian Properties sales director Jonathan Holman said. Regalian Properties also offered buyers a guaranteed yield of 8 per cent a year for two years on the property, more than covering mortgage payments in the first two years. Regalian Properties also was offering investors who already owned property in London the chance to use the appreciated value of the property as collateral to buy a second property in the Point West development. No investors had taken up the offer. According to some estimates, the numbers of Hong Kong buyers interested in the London market - indeed in buying overseas properties - had dropped as much as 50 per cent since the economic downturn hit last year. Last January, Regalian Properties said it sold about GBP10.8 million worth of property during its two-week exhibition. IN the latest visit, the figure would be more like GBP4.5 million, he said. Demand for office space in London by large commercial banks will fall little, Bloomberg reports, despite financial firms cutting plans for expansion or reducing staff to cope with slower domestic and world economic growth. A Brooke Hillier Parker report said the London office market would feel the effects of an economic slowdown but it would not be harmed unless the situation continued to worsen, forcing banks and other financial companies to forego property expansion and investment plans until the economy improved. British house prices rebounded by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent last month, Reuters reports, following two months of decline. House price inflation, which was at 7.5 per cent in October, was likely to fall modestly into next year, however, Nationwide Building Society said.