Figures released by business group CBI and property consultant GVA Grimley for the period 12 March to 4 April, showed 20 per cent planned to reduce their property space.
The extraction and utilities sector was hardest hit with half of firms saying their property holdings had fallen over the last six months and a further three quarters expecting the drop off to continue.
Some firms have taken steps to combat the affects of the downward turn with over 20 per cent saying they had restructured the lease to lower occupancy costs and another 20 per cent negotiating lower rents.
GVA Grimley director Howard Cooke said firms should be aware the credit squeeze presents opportunities as well as threats.
He said: “Firms in all sectors need to be thinking of ways they can manage their property better. Much can be gained by restructuring a lease, reducing your rent, or paying to break a contract.”