RICS survery blames weak retail sales, caution in banking sector and oversupply of office space

Demand for commercial property is at its lowest level for more than 10 years according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The outlook for commercial property has not been worse since RICS started its survey a decade ago with weaker retail sales, frozen expansion plans among large banks and plentiful office space all contributing to the grim outlook.

The RICS survey measures the gap between the proportion of its members which are reporting a fall in demand for commercial property and a rise. That gap now stands at 50%, compared with 31% in the first quarter.

Confidence in the retail sector has been hit hardest, with 64% more surveyors reporting a fall than a rise in demand.