Residential property funds in vogue

The good feeling about the improving state of the British housing market seems to be filtering down to a fund level. Over the past few weeks a host of fund management groups have announced schemes that invest in residential housing, the most recent was today by Smith & Williamson. Other groups to have recently launched residential property offerings include Walls & Futures, the Garratt Property Group and Union Investment Management. Each fund can be held in a Sipp or Ssas, with a minimum investment ranging from £10,000 to £25,000.

Such funds have been around before. In March 2006, Garland Asset Management, founded by Janine Daines, a former fund manager at Pacific Continental Securities and Perry McCarthy, a former racing driver, launched a Sipp-friendly British residential property fund. However, its minimum investment was £75,000 and thereafter increments of £25,000 could be invested.

So far specialist groups have launched such funds, but Smith & Williamson’s entry could mark the start of a trend of the bigger groups taking an interest in the sector.