Three times as many commercial developers reported a fall in activity in May compared with those signalling a rise

Commercial development activity in Britain fell for the seventh month in a row in May, according to an industry survey from Savills.

The property services firm said its Total Commercial Development Activity Index showed a net balance of minus 19.7 percent – slightly up from minus 20.8 per cent in April but still the second lowest reading in the survey’s history.

Around three times as many commercial developers reported a fall in total activity compared with those that signalled a rise, reflecting concerns with “weak market sentiment” and tighter credit availability, it said.

But Mat Oakley, head of Savills’ commercial research, said the company expected market concerns to ease by the end of the year.

He said: “With only 10% of developers seeing a rise in activity this month, it is clear that concerns about bank lending and tenant demand remain rife. We expect both concerns to ease towards the end of 2008 as a clearer economic and capital markets picture emerges.”