Property News - Schroders fund tops IPD league

Schroder Emerging Retail Property Unit Trust (Serput) has emerged as the top-performing property fund over both one- and three-year periods in the influential IPD monthly index.

The retail property fund, which targets convenience, has outperformed more than 60 other property vehicles with a return of 23.6 per cent for the year to March.

Serput was launched five years ago with the specific aim of capitalising on moves into the convenience-store market by major retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer. Since then, it has grown from£65 million to£109 million.

Serput fund director Tony Brown said£10 million has been raised from eight new investors in recent weeks.

This has already been invested in assets such as the Hebburn Shopping Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It was bought for£4.4 million to show an equivalent yield of 8.9 per cent. Meanwhile, 81/107 Crockhamwell Road at Woodley, Reading, has been bought for£7.8 million to show a 7.2 per cent equivalent yield.

Brown believes that demographic factors, such as the surge in single-person households, will continue to drive rental growth in the convenience sector, especially in London and the Southeast.