Chief executive Francis Salway warns industry colleagues of a long wait ahead

Land Securities chief executive, Francis Salway has warned that the construction industry should not expect to see any major commercial development until 2013.

The boss of the major developer addressed delegates at a monthly Movers & Shakers breakfast today about the current state of the property and construction market.

He said: “The simple issue is that there is no point developing buildings if occupiers won't commit to buying space.”

He added that he couldn't see the market picking up until 2012 or, more likely, 2013 which is when he thinks people will “begin to dust off plans and thinking about development.”

Other speakers at the breakfast at the Dorchester Hotel included Nick Ritblat, Martin Moore, managing director of PRUPIM and Ian Marcus Chairman of European Real Estate Investment at Credit Suisse. He predicted there was unlikely to be a bounce back in the office market when the economy picks up as redundancies have left a swath of grey office space that will need filling first.

The general outlook was that the next two to three years will continue to be tough, especially for those working in the construction and property industries.

A show of hands at the event revealed that there are a number of property companies still interested in residential development but had concerns about how this could be achieved. Berkeley Group chief executive Tony Pidgley said he thought a 10-year tax break could be the answer.