Survey shows property market ‘bottoming out’

Business demand for commercial property has stabilised after nine quarters of decline, according to a survey by the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).

Only 2 per cent more chartered surveyors reported a fall in new sales and lettings than those reporting a rise, which compares to an average of 12 per cent over the previous five quarters.

The survey also said that the London market showed signs of “bottoming out” after prolonged periods of decline, a sign of increasing confidence in the financial sector. Also, for the first time since 2000, chartered surveyors responding to the survey said they were hopeful of a modest rise in commercial property demand in the last quarter of this year.

However, the recovery may well be hindered by the introduction of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). RICS chief executive Louis Armstrong said: “The increase in lease duty is an ill-timed blow, particularly within the retail sector.”