- June 1, 2010 Vol. 4 No. 6

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A Call for Action: Are UK-REITs the Solution to Investors

by Zahra Bardai and Chris de Pury

A major recession, a property crash, an election looming with an incumbent prime minister (a former finance minister) who is defending the record of a government that has been in power for 13 years and the real estate industry racked by insecurity as to its future. We are talking, of course, about the United Kingdom in 1992 and not in 2010, but the similarities are striking and do not end there. Equity replaced debt, as institutional investors dominated, and property companies, fuelled by corporate borrowing (albeit primarily due to an inventory full of unlet speculative developments), fell into the hands of receivers and corporate predators. Does this mean that the lessons of the past decade have not been learned?

The answer appears to be “No”, as the differences equally are stark — while one can point to the Halabi Whitetower portfolio and other high-profile insolvencies, in commercial property terms the early 1990s landscape was dominated by

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