For the first time in almost five years, more money is being withdrawn from pooled commercial property funds in the UK than being invested. Financial Times, The Times

Redemptions jumped more than 50% in the third quarter to £939m in the unlisted fund sector, according to the Association of Real Estate Funds, more than five times the level of outflows compared with the same period last year.

Money is still being invested, albeit at a lower rate than before. About £800m of cash was invested in property funds during the quarter, about half the sum invested in the same period last year, which led to the first negative flows since March 2003.

Fund managers say that properties within some funds might need to be sold to cover the cost of exiting investors, although there is no sign of any curbs to prevent people leaving because of liquidity shortages within the funds.

AREF reported a “wide variance” in the performance of specialist property funds with those focusing on Central London offices performing best for the quarter.