A new report has shown a sharp fall in the value of commercial property deals in the first half of this year.

According to research from estate agent CB Richard Ellis, investors agreed €392m worth of deals in Ireland in the six months, compared with €1.9 billion in the same period last year.

The firm says the property investment market in Ireland has come to 'a virtual standstill' in recent months, adding that property values must fall further for activity to return.

CBRE blames the slump on weaker economic conditions, problems securing finance for deals and the fact that many sellers are reluctant to accept the recent decline in prices.

Meanwhile, its figures for the UK show that Irish people have invested only €795m in the UK in the first six months, compared with €5.5 billion for the whole of 2007.