FINANCE NEWS: Investors seek the steady returns that property can offer

Investment in property by charities has risen sharply over the past year, according to the latest figures from the Charities Property Fund.

There were 115 new investors in the fund, a common-investment fund run by Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite and Savills Fund Management during 2003.

There are now 308 charities invested in the fund, which has a total value of £135m.

"Property had been the forgotten asset class," said Alison Puhar, director of Savills Fund Management. "Now, increasing numbers of charities are becoming aware of the benefits of property investment. It should be part of a well-balanced portfolio as it provides a predictable income and low volatility compared with other classes."

The Charities Property Fund is one of two common-investment property funds for the charity sector, which enable smaller charities to invest indirectly in the property market in a pooled fund. The other, the COIF Charities Property Fund, is run by CCLA.

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