U.K. pension funds made net sales of (pounds) 121 million (U.S. $194 million) in British real estate last year, the first time sales have exceeded purchases in the 14-year history of the Investment Property Databank, London.
Net investments by all U.K. investors, however, hit a record (pounds) 2.28 billion ($3.65 billion), up from (pound) 483 million ($773 million) in 1993.
British pension funds engaged in heavy trading in properties in 1994, spending (pounds) 1.12 billion while selling (pounds) 1.24 billion, according to the IPD.
Net investment by life insurance funds totaled (pounds) 1.7 billion, while various pooled funds made net purchases of (pounds) 695 million.
Meanwhile, property was the best-performing asset class, returning 11.3% for pension funds, after returning 23.4% in 1993. Since 1980, real estate has produced a 9.6% annualized return for U.K. pension funds, and remains highly countercyclical to other asset classes since the 1987 crash.