Mike Slade, Helical Bar chief executive, warned that the worst was still to come for the property market as the company revealed a loss in its full year results.

Slade said there would be a 'double-dip' downturn in commercial property, referring to the knock-on effects of falling occupier demand caused by the economic slowdown, after almost a year of steep declines in property prices.

'There is still a way to go. Things are generally slowing and we’re going to see further drops in values,' he warned, predicting that values would not recover until 2010 and rental growth was unlikely before 2011.

Slade said that Helical Bar would work with banks when loans were in danger of default, as well as buy commercial property-backed debt being offloaded by lenders keen to reduce exposure to the sector.

He said there was also fallout expected from the highly leveraged deals carried out in recent years.

Financial Times