Property firms fire commercial and residential sector warnings


The global credit crisis has already had a significant impact on the residential and commercial property markets – and these problems will continue, two of the country’s largest property firms have said.

Liberty International, a real estate investment trust, said that investors were losing their appetite for commercial property – while housebuilder Bovis Homes says that consumers and investors need to regain their confidence in the market.

Reporting its third quarter results, Liberty said that commercial property valuations were already falling in several segments of the overall sector.

"Investor enthusiasm for the quoted UK property sector has diminished in 2007 as negative sentiment from the US sub-prime mortgage lending market spread across the Atlantic," Sir Robert Finch, the company’s chairman, commented.

"The third quarter saw torrid conditions in the UK inter-bank sector including the highly-publicised troubles of Northern Rock," he added.

"While credit market conditions have put upward pressure on lending margins and unsettled UK property investors, one favourable consequence has been a lowering of interest rate expectations."