IN THE depths of the economic crisis – which hit the property sector more than most – many thought the Walkie Talkie would never be built. News that Land Securities and Songbird are pressing ahead with plans to resurrect it, like a phoenix from the ashes, show just how much things have improved.

Songbird’s results suggest its optimism is not without basis. Its adjusted net asset value (NAV) of 178p missed analyst expectations of around 185p, but elsewhere things look good.?The value of its portfolio rose 4.3 per cent in the first half, while occupancy stands at an impressive 96.4 per cent. Its open offer to raise £140m, getting its creditors off its back, was well received.

Its shares might trade at an 11 per cent discount to NAV – a smaller discount than many rivals – but its focus on London and list of institutional tenants mean this stock will continue to outperform.