Individuals with more than $800,000 to invest plan to increase their property holdings because they foresee better long-term returns than from stocks and bonds, according to a Barclays Plc global survey.Twice as many people plan to raise their investment in commercial and residential property as intend to reduce it, the Barclays Wealth unit said in an e-mailed statement today. The richer the individual, the greater the proportion of wealth is placed in real estate, the survey found.The global recession pushed down commercial and residential real estate prices in every region except Asia. The value of U.S. shops, offices and warehouses fell 21 percent in the first three quarters of this year, following a 12 percent decline in 2008. Belief that properties are now undervalued was the second most common reason cited for increasing investment. Real estate investment among wealthy individuals is set to rise to 30 percent of the average portfolio for the next few years from 28 percent now, according to the survey. That excludes properties used as a principal residence. Most rich people, other than the extremely wealthy, should have no more than 10 percent of their assets in property, said Dicks.
By Peter Woodifield, Nov. 30, 2009 BB

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