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First Property Group, the AiM-listed property fund management firm, announced today it has launched an opportunity fund to invest in commercial real estate with a particular focus on Poland.
The New York-based firm has started to invest MSREF VII Global –primarily targeting the US, Western Europe and Japan – after allowing LPs to reduce commitments to the new fund. In an exclusive interview with PERE, the firm said: ‘There is a real chance to make a lot of money for our investors’.
Central and Eastern European developer Plaza Centers is to co-invest $100m in a fund to be managed by Elbit Partners USA aimed at taking advantage of the “current dislocation in the US financing and real estate markets”.
INREV concludes from its 2010 Investment Strategies questionnaire that there has been a shift ‘down the risk spectrum’, with investors in unlisted funds preferring to concentrate on core property for diversification and income generation sake
In the year to the end of June 2009, opportunistic real estate funds returned -50.3% to investors, compared to -34.4% for closed-ended value-added funds, according to the latest NCREIF/Townsend performance figures.
US pension fund Maine PERS has called in outside help to invest the remaining 5 percent of its targeted allocation to real estate. According to reports, this could lead to expanding the pension fund’s investment horizon from core style investing to opportunistic.
With LPs struggling to balance declining distributions against pending capital calls, a report by Clerestory Capital shows 32 fund managers in market over the past six months chose to stop or put fundraising efforts on hold. Among the worst hit were funds targeting India and China.
A confidence survey from Jones Lang LaSalle says pressure on REITs, banks and retail funds, will benefit opportunistic real estate investors over the medium term.
The latest NCREIF/Townsend Real Estate Fund indices shows opportunistic funds down 12.3% in the three months to September, with value-added funds down 3%. In the year to September 2008, opportunity funds were off 13.1%.
The British Opportunities Fund managed by Managing Partners Limited says it has bought 18 homes in one particular street in Portsmouth because prices have dropped up to 40 percent in some cases.

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