It said that starts slowed from 46 new developments 12 months ago to 17 in the most recent survey. Twelve months ago there were 4.2m sq ft of speculative space started, in the latest survey, there was only 761,000 sq ft.

“It will take time for the overhang of excess supply to be absorbed into the market but these are the first signs that London is starting to position itself for the beginning of the next property cycle, and those with experience and expertise are watching closely to take advantage,” the company said

Anthony Duggan, partner and head of research at Drivers Jonas, said, “The short-term outlook is one of oversupply with a considerable volume of speculative space being delivered into the market over the next 15-18 months at a time of weak demand. However, the report clearly shows that new development starts in London have come to a grinding halt. This is creating the first tentative signs of opportunities for the professional developers looking to the next cyclical upturn in rents.”

In September, the company’s survey of Glasgow showed that commercial construction starts had increased 17% over last year, although residential starts had decreased by 57%.

“There is a lot of uncertainty from all those involved in both commercial and residential sectors, including the occupiers of office space and the buyers of residential units, not to mention the limited capital from funders. Developers have presumably begun office construction fully aware of market conditions and the wider economic uncertainty, so we can conclude from this that they must be confident of the success of their individual schemes,” said Andrew Kubski, Partner at Drivers Jonas LLP in Scotland.

The company’s survey of Birmingham in June found only a slight slowdown in construction from 12 months before.