Lending to commercial property hit a high last year, according to new figures.
During the fourth quarter of 2003, Bank of England statistics show that total lending to commercial property increased by nearly #2 billion, taking the total amount outstanding debt to real estate to a record #100.1billion; two and a half times the peak in the previous cycle in 1991.
However, Barry Osilaja, vice-president, debt & structuring, Jones Lang LaSalle Corporate Finance, said: ?The latest figures show a significant slowdown in the level of lending.
?The increase of some from #5 billion since September 2002.
?This slowdown may be a consequence of the 12 per cent reduction in the turnover of UK commercial property activity between 2002 and 2003.
?Whilst the level of debt to commercial properties has been increasing since 1997, the amount outstanding to the real estate sector stands at only nine per cent of the total #1,109 billion lending to the UK economy ? which appears sustainable.?
He added: ?Although the UK property investment market has become more debt reliant over the last five years, we expect continued growth in the bank lending figures, but at a slowing rate.?