Retail property prices continued to slide in 2012, although the decline has slowed compared with the previous year.

According to the latest Christie & Co Business Outlook, convenience retail prices dropped by 0.9% last year. This is an improvement on the 3.6% decrease in prices in 2011.

Steve Rodell, director and head of retail at Christie & Co, said that despite the continued decline there was a case for some “cautious optimism” in the market.

“Given the sentiment reported throughout the year - high-profile failures, the Portas Review simply paying lip service to the high street’s problems, and over-rented high street property - it may come as a surprise to some that convenience retail has provided some respite to the beleaguered property sector,” he said.

However, he stressed that “it would be unwise to suggest we’re out of the woods just yet”.

Rodell also warned that the multiples would continue to encroach on the independent retail sector, especially in the forecourt arena.

Christie & Co research revealed that more than four out of five planning applications involving petrol forecourts in the first half of 2012 were submitted by supermarkets, or developers working in conjunction with a supermarket.

Rodell added: “The market for convenience is likely to become ever more congested, and potentially difficult for independent operators, as the supermarkets react to consumer demand by seeking local sites for small format stores.”