Commercial property development activity fell at steepest pace in the last month according to Savills survey.

The data reveals it was the sharpest fall in the survey’s five-and-a-half year history.

Savills August survey data showed a month-on-month reduction of total activity at 42% of commercial developers, compared with just 4% that signalled a rise in activity.

The resultant net balance – the Total Commercial Development Activity Index – fell to -37.8%, from -33.8% in July, indicating a new survey record rate of decline.

The survey also revealed both public and private sector projects saw the decline.

August data indicated that commercial property developers remained highly pessimistic about the three-month outlook.

The survey suggested that anecdotal evidence blamed unfavourable bank lending conditions, combined with a widening domestic economic downturn as key factors behind the pessimistic outlook.

The overall degree of negative sentiment was the most marked in the survey history.