Sir John Ritblat, one of the grandees of the UK property sector, has changed his view and has warned that the property investment market would not see any recovery until next year at the earliest. Financial Times

The former British Land boss yesterday said that the lack of bank funding and a deterioration in economic conditions would continue to depress the property market 'for at least the remainder of 2008'.

The sector is already in the throes of a cyclical downturn.

That has seen the all-property total return on an annual basis hit a record low of -10.7% in March, according to benchmark index IPD.

There are now worries that the downturn in the economy will have a knock-on effect.

That will hit demand for commercial space from occupiers with a consequent impact on rental income and property values.

Sir John had previously predicted some recovery in the second half of this year.