St. James's Place and Columbia Threadneedle have already opted to reopen their UK property funds after independent valuers were given the green light to remove Material Uncertainty Clauses (MUCs) yesterday (9 September), while other fund houses have told investors they need more time to assess the risks of ending their six-month suspensions.
St. James's Place has lifted the suspension on its range of three UK commercial property funds, the SJP Property Unit Trust and the SJP Property Life and Property Pension funds, while Columbia Threadneedle has announced it is to reopen its £1bn UK Property Authorised Investment Fund (PAIF) and feeder fund on 17 September.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) cleared the way for some property funds to reopen after it recommended a "general lifting" of material valuation uncertainty on the valuation of "all UK real estate", with exception of "some assets valued with reference to trading potential" on 9 September.
However, Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, warned not to "expect to see a rush to reopen from many providers" due to the timing of Brexit and a resurgence in cases of Covid-19.
"They will need to review their portfolios and make sure the bulk of them are now in scope to be accurately valued as a starting point," he said.
Among those providers that have so far chosen to keep the suspension of their property funds in place are Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), Janus Henderson and LGIM.
A spokesperson for ASI welcomed the removal of the MUCs but confirmed that it does not anticipate reopening its UK Property fund before its next valuation on 30 September, adding "the most recent valuation for the fund was 'uncertain' at the time and will require to be revisited in the normal course before any fund trading could conceivably re-commence".
The Janus Henderson UK Property PAIF and its feeder fund will also remain suspended "until further notice" following a review by the board of Henderson Investment Funds, although a further update will be provided within the next 28 days, "or sooner should the situation change".