The construction industry was boosted by a sharp rise in activity in the commercial property sector last month, according to research by property services firm Savills.

The sharpest rise was recorded in the office fit-out sector and the overall rise in activity was supported by growth in public and private sector projects, which was steeper than growth in May.

Private sector office activity and refurbishment work ranked second and third behind office fit-out in terms of growth in June.

While commercial development activity increased across the UK, growth in London was the most pronounced and at its sharpest pace for 27 months.

Savills broke the UK down into three regions – London, the South-east and the rest of the UK. The research is based on a monthly questionnaire completed by executives across the commercial property sector at more than 200 construction and development companies.

Savills said it provided the first indication every month of business conditions in the commercial property sector.

Savills monitored nine areas of commercial property – office fit-out, private sector offices, refurbishment, public retail and leisure, private retail and leisure, private new build, public new build and industrial development.

Mat Oakley, head of the commercial research department at Savills, said that prospects for the sector over the third quarter of 2006 looked good.

He said: “Business confidence was broad-based and strongest for future office construction activity.

“Anecdotal evidence suggested that the start of commercial development projects would contribute to a marked rise in business activity.”

In June public sector activity showed stronger growth than the private sector for the first time this year. The lowest levels of growth were in the private industrial sector.