Land Securities has warned that hopes for a recovery in the real estate sector appear premature after it revealed a record £4.7bn fall in the value of its estate.

The group reported a pre-tax loss of £4.8bn, the largest ever in the sector, as a result of the fall in the value of its properties in the year to March when the real estate market was in its worst slump in recent history. Losses in 2008 were £988m.

The full-year results, while broadly in line with the sector benchmark, will pour cold water on a rally in which the company’s shares rose 64% from a five-year low in March.

Yesterday its shares fell 13% to 468p, leading a retreat for the sector of about 8 per cent.

Financial Times, Daily Telegraph