A collapse in capital growth has seen returns in the Australian commercial property sector dive to their lowest level in 15 years.

New figures from the Property Council of Australia/IPD property index show that the composite annual total return for the Australian real estate sector at 31 December had slumped to just 1.8%, as capital growth plunged to a negative 4.3%.

On a quarterly basis, total returns in the December quarter were a negative 2.5%, the largest quarterly decline since 1993, largely reflecting a negative 4.1% slump in capital growth. The previous September quarter recorded a total return of 1%.

The Australian