Another red flag on the UK's post-referendum economy as RICS says commercial property demand has suffered its largest drop on record. The warning comes along with new data showing a drop in retail sales. David Pollard reports.
The thermometer could be plunging on the UK's once red-hot commercial property market. A new RICS survey talking of a nosedive in investment so severe it's the biggest drop on record. A survey reading of investment enquiries swinging to -16, from +25. London is the worst hit - demand there fell to its lowest since 2009. The suspect: political uncertainty in the aftermath of the UK Brexit vote. SOUNDBITE (English) City Index Market Analyst, Ken Odeluga, saying: "All we have is the expectation, we have the apprehension, I think. What will actually wash out in reality could be quite different. Certainly I think the larger commercial property developers are in a very strong position, with good cash flows, net asset values that are very very solid." Poor weather's seen casting clouds over retailers rather than Brexit. At least according to the latest official numbers. Sales suffered their sharpest monthly fall in six months in June. But retailers didn't report any evidence of a referendum vote effect. SOUNDBITE (English) City Index Market Analyst, Ken Odeluga, saying: "We're in the middle of a British summer. You do get these seasonal fluctuations and I think there's a little bit of a seasonal impact here." On Friday the data focus shifts from retail and property - to services and industry - with the release of the key, first post-Brexit PMIs.