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LONDON-Pension funds are failing to take advantage of the property sector’s strong performance because of their strict adherence to sector allocations, according to Rob Bould, Head of Investment Management at GVA Grimley and Chairman of the Investment Property Forum.

Speaking at the Specialist Pensions Services conference last week, Bould said: ‘Today’s pension funds have a very low exposure to property, with a typical weighting of around 5%, compared with the 20% level at the beginning of the 1980s. However, the fact is that property as an asset class now provides exactly the strength and stability that pension funds are looking for in these uncertain times’

Bould pointed out that property had outperformed equities over the last five years according to the Investment Property Databank and this is forecast to continue, as the asset class is re-rated. ‘Property’s average yield of 7% comfortably exceeds the alternatives of gilts and equities,’ he said.

And as the economic outlook grows increasingly uncertain, Bould argued that property provided an opportunity for fund managers to ensure stability of income. ‘In times such as these, when income return and stability are key, the property market deserves more attention from fund managers,’ he said.

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