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Gullwing swoops on property

The Gullwing exempt property unit trust is a unit trust that invests in a portfolio of commercial properties within the retail and leisure sectors.

The fund invests in those areas because Gullwing believes the returns are likely to be higher over the next five years than the returns from the office sector, which has suffered due to falling demands in the South-east.

Investments will be made in properties let to companies such as fashion retailers Dorothy Perkins and Etam on long-term leases. The properties let to the main tenants Woolworths and First Leisure will have 25-year leases with 23 years left to run.

The investment criteria for property selection includes asset value of at least £1m, a minimum of 12 years to run on the lease and upwards-only rent reviews. Such properties will typically yield about 7 per cent gross a year, with above average rent growth.

With a minimum investment of £50,000, this fund could suit the Sipp and SSAS markets. It may also appeal to high-net-worth offshore investors at a time when equities are volatile and bond yields are low. However, it is not as easy for investors to get in and out of property investments as it is with equities and bonds. Also, if the fund has difficulties finding suitable properties, the returns will be lower.

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