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Countrywide looks to launch residential property fund

Countrywide is looking to set up a residential property fund when the Reit regulations come into force next year.

The UK’s biggest estate agent is in talks with third parties but could decide to go it alone.

Managing director Harry Hill says the Reit regulations provide a good opportunity for the firm to exploit its strong position in the residential property market.

IFAs are expecting an explosion of residential property funds when Reits regul-ations start.

The deregulation of pensions in April 2006 provides another incentive to launch residential property funds which will be eligible for inclusion in Sipps.

Hill says: “We have the appropriate skills to operate in this area. We have our fingers in a lot of the right pies. We have not yet reached a decision but we are looking into it and continue to consult with third parties on the matter.”

Bestinvest business development manager Justin Modray says: “Potentially, this could make a lot of money for Countrywide. The key will really be manager track record and there are currently very few managers with a record in residential property. Investors remain very keen on residential property because they are still wary of the stockmarket, with the caveat that the bubble could burst.”

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