More than £1bn will be raised in the property sector in the next few weeks as companies prepare to hunt for bargains in the battered commercial real estate market.

Great Portland Estates and Shaftesbury have this week joined Max Property, the new Aim-listed property company, and several unlisted companies in raising capital.

There are signs that the pace of the fall in the price of investment properties is slowing. According to IPD, values declined 2.3% in April, compared with a drop of 3.1% in March. Agents talk of stability in pricing in quality properties.

This has translated into the outperformance of the listed real estate, making it a good time for companies to ask for investment capital. Yesterday, Shaftesbury was trading at a premium to net asset value, unusual in a market where wide discounts were the norm just a few months ago.

Financial Times