LONDON-Limited partnerships are now the most popular form of indirect property investment, according to new research from property consultant DTZ. The firm calculates that £11 billion ($16 billion) is now invested in more than 90 limited partnerships, more than is invested in all other indirect vehicles apart from property company equities.

The ten largest limited partnerships accounting for at least £3.5 billion of total investment between them. And DTZ Research estimates that 55 of the main pension funds, life and insurance companies have now invested in these structures; as they have become widely accepted as a means of indirect property investment. Insurance companies and pension funds together account for nearly half of all limited partnership investors. However, the pace of growth in the market has slowed since its peak in 1999 when 25 new partnerships were established.

DTZ believes partnerships are most effective when they focus on specific property types such as shopping centres, factory outlet centres, residential or leisure investments which require specialist and often intensive management, but to attract investors they need a strong rationale to justify the additional costs of management.

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