Commercial property sector boosted by private activity

A SPIKE in private activity in the commercial property sector has partly offset a dip in projects funded by the government, upmarket estate agent Savills said yesterday.

The firm’s latest commercial development activity index saw its public sector measure drop from 1.4 in February to minus 1.3 in March.

However, the private sector number has climbed from 10.9 at the start of the year to 17.8 last month.

The index numbers show the percentage of surveyed developers that report an improvement in activity, minus the percentage that tell Savills that activity has dropped.

“Almost 29 per cent of monitored commercial developers indicated higher activity in the private sector, while 11 per cent noted a fall,” the report said.

Activity in London continues to outpace that outside the capital, the data also showed.

The sub-index measuring all commercial development activity in London rose to a positive balance of 30.5 in March, up from 14 in January.

For the rest of the UK, the balance was 19.6 – lower than in London, yet markedly up from 5.4 in December 2012.

The survey also revealed the fastest growth in refurbishment activity since May 2007.

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