The commercial property sector managed to slow the decline in asset values for the third month running in March, though returns were still negative as capital values continued to fall. Financial Times

Capital values of commercial property fell 1.3% in March, according to IPD, the benchmark index for property in the UK.

But the performance caps a slight improvement across each of the first three months of the year. There was a 1.5% fall in values in February and a 2% drop in January.

'Capital values are still falling, but the rate has moderated month-on-month this year and rents continue to grow in all of the three main sectors,' said Malcolm Frodsham, IPD research director.

'The results may not signal the bottom of the market just yet but at least investors have a better idea of where the floor is likely to be.'

There was a total return of -0.8% in March, a slight improvement on the -1% return in February but markedly better than the historic low of -3.7% in December.

In spite of easing in the monthly numbers, the all-property total return on an annual basis hit a record low of -10.7% in March, down from -9.2% in February.

The total return in the first quarter was -3.4% and capital values were down 4.7% in the period.