Aviva Investors has stopped investors taking their money out of its European Property Fund as the run on open-ended property funds spills out of Germany into Europe.

Aviva said today it had temporarily suspended dealing in its €387m (£311m) fund which has invested across seven countries across the continent. The suspension comes after 11 funds in Germany suspended redemptions last week in the biggest mass-halt seen in the sector since 2006.

Ben Stirling, managing director continental Europe real estate at Aviva Investors, said: ‘Trading in the European Property Fund has been suspended in order to safeguard the interests of all our investors. Weaker market conditions have led to an immediate lack of liquidity in the fund.’

‘The European commercial property market has slowed and it is taking longer to turn properties into cash at acceptable prices. At the same time, redemptions have been running at high levels. As we have seen in the last weeks, a number of European real estate funds have suspended in this difficult market.’

‘We are contacting investors in the fund to explain what this means for them and are doing all we can to return the fund to normal trading as quickly as possible.’