From: Reuters
Published December 12, 2007 04:01 AM

UK property development at 4-1/2 year low: report

LONDON (Reuters) - Property development activity in the UK fell for the first time in four and a half years in November as worries about a weakening property market outlook spread to the commercial building trade, data showed on Wednesday.

In a monthly survey of industry professionals, property services firm Savills <SVS.L> said around 22 percent reported a drop in activity in November, compared with 12 percent reporting a rise.

That left the Total Commercial Development Activity Index with a negative net balance for the first time since May 2003, Savills said.

Commercial property developers and building contractors were also increasingly pessimistic about future work prospects, with a third of those surveyed forecasting a fall from current levels of activity in the next three months.

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The monthly survey was conducted for Savills by NTC Research, which also produces widely tracked Purchasing Managers' Indexes on Europe's manufacturing and service sectors.

(See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters)

(Editing by Will Waterman)

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