British Land has become the first big property company to reveal the extent of the property downturn after admitting yesterday that more than £1.3bn had been wiped off its portfolio. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent

The UK’s second largest property company reported a pre-tax loss of £1.32bn in the last quarter after a 16.7% drop in its net asset value per share to £14.01. Its property was marked down 8.9%.

The speed of the adjustment of valuations augured well for a shorter downturn, the company said.

Like-for-like rental value growth of 5% beat the Investment Property Databank Benchmark of 3.4%, and leasing activity 'remained good'.

The company has sold £600m of property since September, and expects to continue to sell more lowgrowth assets. It could revisit the partial sale of Meadowhall, pulled last year.

Its largest single holding, the Broadgate estate in Liverpool Street, fell 9.3% to £2.8bn.