The UK commercial property investment market struggled to find its feet in the first quarter of this year after the bruising slide in values continued. Financial Times, The Times

The central London investment market had its worst first-quarter trading period for at least three years, while sales in the debt-reliant shopping centre market dropped by almost 80% compared with the same period last year.

UK-wide figures have not been finalised but there is unlikely to be any sector exempt from the slowdown in trading as many investors remain nervous about buying into a market still losing value, albeit at a slower pace than last year.

The bellwether central London investment market saw £2.83bn transacted during the first quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield significantly down from the £3.9bn of deals in the same quarter of last year.

Levels of transactions were, however, slightly higher than the fourth quarter of 2007, suggesting that market activity is at least not falling further.

Similar figures have been posted by agent CB Richard Ellis.

Financial Services companies accounted for only 8% of new City office lettings in the first quarter, down from the average of 40%, while the total supply of office space in Docklands rose by 7% quarter-on-quarter, according to Atisreal.