Property companies are paying their bills more quickly in 2013 than they did in 2012, according to financial information company Experian.

But property firms still pay bills a month than later than they should, said the survey, which measures the average lateness of payment in all sectors.

Property firms paid their bills an average of 31.62 days late (beyond agreed terms) in the first quarter of 2012, but this has now fallen to 30.56 days.

Paying on time is so rare that Experian does not even express payment as on time or late, but simply records the average number of days overdue that bills are paid.

Among the worst offenders are the UK's largest businesses (those with more than 501 staff), which saw their payment performance slow by more than two days in the first quarter of 2013, standing at 33.9 days compared to 31.7 days this time last year.