- September 1, 2012: Vol. 6, Number 8

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Through the Slack: After a Temporary Slowdown, German Open-End Property Funds Are Picking Up Speed Again

by Richard Fleming

Not a week goes by these days, it seems — even in the middle of Europe’s summer holidays — without an announcement, or two or three, from the two principal German open-end property fund providers about another deal. You know who they are. It’s a positive sign that is such a contrast to the situation that the German open-end property fund industry found itself in when the global financial crisis hit back in 2007–2008. Everyone knows that, compared to equities and bonds, real estate is an illiquid asset class, right? That you can’t buy and sell property just like that, right? Especially investors? Wrong, on all counts. It’s always periods of market weakness that bring out obvious truths, that force systemic faults into the glare of visibility.

This is what happened to German open-end property funds — a favoured long-term investment vehicle for conservative, prudent German retail investors — which went through a period of heady returns in the first pa

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