Turn the clocks back a year and investors will remember that we were in the middle of a property crisis.
For a short period, barely a day went by when I wasn’t writing another story about a property fund stopping investors from withdrawing their money, or imposing large penalties for those that did.
This wasn’t residential property, but commercial property: offices, warehouses, shops and so on. Unit trusts investing directly in these types of buildings had become hugely popular as sources of income in the period after the financial crisis.
But the EU referendum vote triggered panic-selling by investors in these property funds. The fund companies – which included most of Britain’s best-known investment brands – faced grave difficulties.
How could they allow investors to encash their units if they could not determine the real value of the buildings? Some funds applied penalties to withdrawing…