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Julian Gibbs

Since 2003, when New Star took over the running of its property trust, it has grown from around 135m to well over 480m, despite not being eligible for Isas.

Roger Dossett and Ken Malone are the highly talented leaders of New Star’s specialist in-house property team. Both were formerly at Estates & General, where Dossett was managing director.

The property share portfolio is managed by Stephen Whittaker, the first-class manager of the New Star UK growth fund.

The property portfolio accounts for around 60 per cent of the fund, half or which is in offices, one-third in retail and the balance in industrial and leisure. The property share portfolio accounts for another 25 per cent, with the biggest holdings being Land Securities, British Land, Hammersons and Liberty International.

The remaining 15 per cent of the fund is invested in fixed-interest bonds, mainly issued by property companies.

The key reasons for investing in property at the moment are that the yield from commercial property is rather higher than on most equities and, unlike the housing market which is now too high, commercial property values are at reasonable levels.

Most forecasters believe that commer- cial property is undervalued. Also, investor demand, both from UK institutions and from overseas, is healthy.

There are plenty of buyers looking for investments and there are only a limited number of sellers. Over the last two years, since New Star took over the fund, it has risen by 28 per cent, which is an outstanding result in relation to its type of portfolio.

This fund can be recommended to all risk-averse investors and as part of every- one’s portfolio.


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