Savills data says confidence now at lowest ebb for more than two years

Office, retail and industrial development continued to decline in November, according to an index created by estate agent Savills, marking the fifth consecutive month of decline.

The index finds that development activity has now declined for four months in the private sector, failing to make up for consistent declines public sector commercial development in the last 18 months.

Savills said the rate of decline eased slightly in November, to 15.4% from 16.1% in October, but Savills said the decline “remained sharp.” Every sector rated by Savills recorded a decline in the month, including refurbishment.

Commercial developers are now also now recording the lowest rate of confidence for future prospects since February 2009, citing a lack of bank lending and subdued client confidence due to economic uncertainty.

Michael Pillow, head of building consultancy at Savills said: “We believe that this second slip in development activity is more sentiment driven than due to any significant change in rental growth expectations. However, the longer we wait for a credible resolution to the eurozone situation, the more likely a real economic double-dip becomes.”