The third quarter of 2002 saw a massive surge in institutional property investment in the UK, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics. Insurance companies and pension funds were net investors in property by Â£3.5 billion ($5.5 billion) in the quarter, the highest level of net investments since quarterly records began in 1983. Insurance companies were net investors by Â£3.3 billion, ($5.3 billion) while pension funds increased their exposure to property by a net Â£198 million ($300 million).
There was a substantial increase in purchases by insurance companies in the third quarter to a record Â£4.2 billion ($6.7 billion) counterbalanced by Â£874 million ($1.4 billion) of sales. Pension funds bought Â£735 million ($1.1 billion) of property and sold Â£537 million ($850 million).