UK Aug. property development falls most in 11 mths

Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:13am EDT

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* Commercial Property Index -12.1 in Aug vs -7.4 in July

* Developers' confidence hit by concerns over UK recovery and bank lending

LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - UK commercial development activity fell at its fastest rate in 11 months in August, hit by concerns over the stability of Britain's economic recovery and bank lending, a report by property advisor Savills showed on Monday.

Savills' Total Commercial Property Sector Index, which surveys 200 developers, funders and contractors, fell to -12.1 in August from -7.4 in July. Some 29 percent recorded a fall and 17 percent saw a rise.

An index figure greater than zero indicates growth in activity and less than zero denotes a fall.

Growth expectations for the next three months slid to -3.5 in August from -2.3 in July, with about 18 percent of respondents forecasting activity to decrease, versus 15 percent expecting a rise.

"Worsening economic data in August led to a further decline in developers' confidence about the future. However, refurbishment activity continued to rise, reflecting its perceived lower risk," Savills' Head of Building Consultancy, Michael Pillow, said in the report.

On Sept 1, the British Chamber of Commerce cut its forecast for UK GDP growth this year to 1.1 percent from the 1.3 percent in its June quarterly forecasts, citing a disappointing start to the year and worsening global prospects. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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