PropertyMatch expansion into Europe sees trading accelerate

PropertyMatch, the secondary trading portal for units in unlisted real estate funds, has seen trading accelerate on the platform in its second year, partly due to its expansion into Europe in January 2011.

In the last 12 months, over £440 million of trades were made through the platform, compared to £250 million in the year following its launch. This period also saw a doubling of trading frequency, with PropertyMatch registering more than 122 trades in the past year.

Over 115 funds, including 25 European funds, now benefit from visible pricing via PropertyMatch, almost treble the 45 listed this time last year. These now include Pan-European, and a number of specialist funds specifically focused on France, Germany, Portugal and the Nordic countries.

Commenting, Paul Robinson, Executive Director, CBRE Real Estate Finance, said:
“Two years ago we set out to improve transparency, efficiency and liquidity in the unlisted real estate sector and to attract a broader spectrum of alternative investors to the unlisted space. We are pleased to have arranged trades for investors that had never previously participated in the market, a trend which is continuing. Whilst we will doubtless be measured by our trade volume, growth in other qualitative measures show the appetite for the platform in the market, including: the number of clients who have traded through PropertyMatch and the number now regularly logging in both to participate in the market and to monitor pricing.

“Our launch into Europe has shown that demand for the type of platform and benefits PropertyMatch provides is great, and we are particularly encouraged by the traction we have gained there in the short time since our expansion into the region.”

Michael Levi, Head of Indirect Property at GFI Group, added:
“PropertyMatch is fast becoming the virtual marketplace for secondary funds. The portal reaches a wide number of investors in the UK and Europe who have embraced the system as useful barometer of market sentiment as well as a means of trading.”

Prior to the launch of PropertyMatch, a common problem associated with the unlisted property sector was that of illiquidity. This was fuelled by the opaque nature of the market, which carried with it issues such as suspension of redemptions and volatility in pricing, severely limiting the appeal of unlisted real estate vehicles as a means of gaining property exposure.

PropertyMatch has brought increased transparency and liquidity to the secondary market by supplying a reliable platform where investors can trade secondary units with clear pricing. This is known as ‘best execution’, which ensures that both buyer and seller achieve the best possible price at the time of trading.