The amount of commercial property loans in the UK which are in default doubled in the first half of 2009, according to the latest De Montfort bank lending survey.

£30bn of loans are in breach of financial agreements - £18.6bn in breach of covenants and £11.8bn in default.

Overall, debt secured by the UK property sector declined slightly, for the first time on record, from £225.5bn to £224.1bn.

However banks still have faith in property, and the number of active banks is rising, the survey said. The number of banks seeking to increase loan origination to property doubled in six months from 23% to 50%. The number of banks prepared to lend has risen from 73% to 87%.

New lending was limited, at £7.4bn for the first half of the year compared to £49bn for the whole of 2008. Just 12 banks made up 83% of the lending, with UK lenders commanding a 58% market share.