The latest RICS survey on commercial property demand makes grim reading.

Two figures are particularly worrying for the construction sector. Firstly: The balance of surveyors reporting demand down against those seeing demand rising was 30%, the worst figure for six years. Secondly: The balance between surveyors saying there was more available space against those reporting less was 27%, a rapid change from previous quarters when there was a fairly even balance.

The picture is bleak across all three sectors - offices, retail and industrial.

And these supply and demand figures combined do cast a dark shadow over the prosects for construction firms, as they will dampen enthusiasm for new schemes. This in turn is likely to leave a hole in construction output as current projects are built out and are not replaced by new developement.

The RICS survey already suggests that there is a drop in projects being started.

The irony is that the construction sector, if history repeats itself, may well be experiencing a boost to commercial workload on the ground as developers seek to complete schemes rapidly. This was very evident in the run up to the property crash leading into the early 1990s.