Land Securities, the UK’s largest property company, has seen an increase in the number of retail tenants in administration since September as the high street slowdown begins to weigh on its property portfolio. It says it will focus on shoring up its balance sheet as it faces unprecedented market conditions.

Francis Salway, chief executive, warned yesterday that the speed of valuation decline in the market, allied to rising insolvency rates, meant 'the sector is facing one of the most challenging periods in generations'.

Tenants in administration represent 4.8% of the company’s annual rental income, with 15% still paying rent, a rise from 2.9% at 30 September, when 29% had been paying rent.

The retail portfolio has a void rate of 5%, including redevelopments, up from 4.4 per cent in September. A retail development in Cardiff is just 23% let by income, and 40% by floorspace, with an opening in September this year.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph