Property disposals will increase this year as confidence within the market steadily builds, according to Christie & Co. Releasing its annual Business Outlook report, the property agent revealed property prices within the hospitality and retail sectors had stabilised during 2010, following declines in 2009 and 2008. Restaurant prices were the standout performer, increasing 4.6% on average during 2010. Pubs prices were down 0.9% and hotel prices edged 0.1% higher. Christie’s saw total sales increase by almost a third (32%) last year compared with the previous year, driven in the main by corporate disposals. David Rugg, chairman of Christie & Co, said: “We are very encouraged by last year’s transactional evidence since it confirms that prices have reached the bottom of the demand driven price curve. In fact, average prices have increased slightly in some sectors and we are hopeful that this upward trend will continue in 2011. “Whilst we are confident that the banks will avoid flooding the market with distressed property in 2011, we expect the number of disposals to increase. "The January VAT increase, the public sector spending cuts and rising utility costs will test the endurance of businesses that are already being scrutinised by the banks’ business support units. Those that fail to improve their performance will be forced to sell in order to repay outstanding debt.”