17 October 2005

Overseas property action

Residential sales may be flagging and house prices falling, but as a nation Britain is much in love with property investment as ever.

Almost £44bn has been invested in this area in the past year, 25% higher than 12 months ago with forecasted total investment returns of between 12-13% this year.

There are actually few onshore, authorised commercial property funds. Under old rules, regulated funds had to hold a minimum of 20% in cash, property-related assets, or government or public sector securities. This helps maintain liquidity if investors want out, but it does little to maximise the benefits of exposure to bricks and mortar.

But the rules are being rewritten to allow 100% exposure to property within UK-based funds.

Not only that, the Government is set to launch REITS (Real Estate Investment Trusts). Widely available in the US, Australia, France and Holland, these offer tax advantages and simple access to property funds, both residential and commercial.

More here.

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