Liquid Realty Makes $60M Play in U.K. Property Fund

Liquid Realty Partners, a specialist in acquiring real estate funds, partnerships and other interests, has invested about $60 million (£30 million) to acquire an indirect interest in a U.K. real estate fund. The fund, which is unlisted, invested in office properties in the West End of London. San Francisco-based Liquid Realty’s niche is giving limited partners in such funds a way to cash out of their investments early. The company has committed over $1 billion in equity capital to indirect real estate investments since 2006, ranging from small, single-fund interests, to large multi-fund portfolios, and including both domestic and overseas funds. “Commercial real estate values in Britain are off from their peak in September 2007,” Jeffrey Giller (pictured), managing principal & chief investment officer of Liquid Realty, told CPN this morning. “Though it’s impossible to predict when the market is going to bottom out, we believe it’s a good time to invest in British property funds.” According to Giller, the United Kingdom is seeing economic problems reminiscent of those in the United States, such as the aftereffects of too much subprime lending in the residential property market. But he also considers the decline in commercial asset values–which are tracked more closely by appraisers in the U.K., and thus more transparent–as a form of correction. “Class A properties in particular are returning to the norm from historic highs,” he said. “This time last year, the market was overheated.” GIller anticipates that the company will be able to make further indirect real estate investments going forward. “Investors are evaluating their portfolios very closely these days, and I expect more to want to sell,” he said.