More on Property Fund Suspensions During Coronavirus

Published / Last Updated on 30/06/2020

FCA rules dictate that when there could be a 20% deviation or correction or fall in fund asset values due to economic conditions uncertain - funds should suspend trading.

Valuations may be 'off the scale' at present, so to protect investors from a 'run' on the fund and to protect fund managers from being forced to sell commercial units at lock down prices, suspension is allowed.  This does not mean the fund is on the verge of collapse.

In the short term property funds may suffer but rents are still coming in.  If a property fund has blue chip, long term tenants paying rental yields of 10%, even if the fund is only collecting 70% or 80% of rents during the coronavirus crisis, that still means a rental yield of 7% to 8% pa.  Compare this to Bank of England base rates at 0.1% pa and these could even go negative.

In addition, long term central bank and government stimulus will drive new business demand and will likely reverse the downturn as they did in post -war Britain, the 70s, 80s 90s and the 2008/9 post credit crunch.

Property funds may be well placed with rental cover still at 70% to 80% and upward only rental reviews and 'money in the bank' to capitalise on acquiring more good quality commercial units in recession ready for the upturn.

In the words of Mark Twain: "Buy land, they are not making anymore".

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