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Swip opening its property fund to smaller investors

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership has reduced the minimum investment in its property unit trust from 100,000 to 5,000.

Demand for commercial property investment continues to be strong. The move aims to open the fund to the wider retail market following its launch in November 2004.

The Swip property trust has been marketed through Lloyds TSB’s private-client network and has returned 8.26 per cent since January 2005.

From 2006 to 2009, Swip expects total returns from commercial property to average around 7 per cent a year.

Sales and marketing director Andy Frepp says the reduction in the minimum investment will give smaller investors a chance to access the office, warehouse and retail property sectors in the UK without having to consider buying buildings directly.

Churchill Investments head of research Warren Perry says: “This opens up the fund for the general investor as oppo- sed to the high-net-worth investor although I cannot get overly excited about the Swip product. Considering a 15 per cent return last year, I would say that the sector is due for a slowdown, but 7 per cent is still fairly attractive compared with the probable yield on fixed interest and equities.

“The product would make a good diversifier.”

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