Investment funds are taking advantage of the sharp downturn in house prices to buy cheap properties from struggling buy-to-let landlords and distressed homeowners.

In a striking example of this, Managing Partners Limited, an investment adviser and fund manager, is in the process of acquiring almost an entire street of houses in Portsmouth at prices as much as 40% below official asking values.

The properties are held within its British Property Opportunities Fund, which now owns 18 of 48 properties in the street, with offers pending on a further 10.

The fund has paid between £89,000 and £100,000 for each of the properties, most of which had been repossessed by lenders. Two years ago they were being sold for between £180,000 and £205,000.

Financial Times