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U.K. Commercial Property Prices Fell in December on Retail Woes

U.K. commercial-property prices fell for the second month in December as demand for assets in all but the best locations dropped amid concern that the country is slipping back into recession.

The average value of stores, offices and warehouses declined 0.1 percent in December from a year earlier, Investment Property Databank Ltd. said today on its website. Retail properties led the decline, falling 0.2 percent.

Prices fell 0.02 percent in November after gaining 17.8 percent in the previous 27 months of continuous growth. Prices dropped 44.2 percent from their July 2007 peak to July 2009, according to the London-based research company. U.K. commercial real estate values may fall by 5.9 percent this year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a note to investors on Jan. 13.

“The outlook for 2012 is less than ideal,” Phil Tilly, IPD’s managing director for the U.K. and Ireland, said in the statement. “During the last three months of the year, as the euro situation worsened and the threat of recession increased, returns tailed off considerably.”

Office values in the City of London financial district declined 0.1 percent in December, the first drop in 27 months. They fell 50 percent from 2007 to 2009 before recovering 35 percent through November 2011, IPD said.

The total return, which combines the change in property values and rental income, amounted to 8.1 percent in the 12 months through December, IPD said. The index was compiled from appraisals of 3,595 properties valued at 33.6 billion pounds ($51.4 billion) at the end of December, IPD said.

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