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"You could not be more wrong. If the lessee bought the freehold after, say, 5 years, the valuation would clearly reflect the escalating rent provisions and would not have been a 'modest' price."

The prices quoted for the freehold purchase during the initial ten year period were, generally, reasonable until the arrival of third party investors buying the freeholds from the builders.
The purchaser solicitors could not have anticipated that change in the market.

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