Post-referendum, pre-Brexit malaise is being felt in the U.K. property market with shares in property developers losing as the market opened in London.
A second asset manager has halted redemptions on its U.K. property fund after as Brexit turmoil continues to spread.
This comes as the Bank of England today said that is was keeping a close eye on commercial real estate, saying adjustments in the market could lead to tighter credit conditions for businesses.
Aviva Investors today said the "extraordinary market circumstances" have left the Aviva Investors Property Trust with a "lack of immediate liquidity."
"Consequently, we have acted to safeguard the interests of all our investors by suspending dealing in the fund with immediate effect," an Aviva spokesperson said. The property trust is a £1.8 billion ($2.4 billion) fund focused on high-quality U.K. property assets.
"Suspension of dealing will give Aviva Investors greater control in managing cashflows and conducting orderly asset sales in order to meet our obligations to investors wishing to redeem their holdings," the Aviva spokesperson added.
Aviva's (AV) shares have lost 2.51% today.
Standard Life Investments yesterday put a stop to retail investors selling out of its U.K. property fund. Retail investors were seeking redemptions due to fears the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union would push down the value of real estate in the country.
The £2.9 billion ($3.82 billion) U.K. commercial property fund is one of the largest retail real estate funds in the country. The investment manager said it would have to sell property before any money can be redeemed. The decision will be reviewed in 28 days.
Last week, Standard Life (SLFPY) lowered the underlying value of the properties by 5%. The fund said they were putting the hold in place to avoid fund managers having to sell buildings quickly.
Standard Life shares fell when the markets opened in London and were recently down 4.33%.
These are the first tangible signs of the turmoil caused by the referendum. The U.K.'s real estate and construction sector came under increased pressure yesterday when Markit's construction sector PMI fell faster than expected.
In June the gauge fell to 46 from 51.2, this was a seven-year low and much lower than the 50.5 expected. Readings under 50 signal economic contraction and June was the first time the reading had fallen below that mark since April 2013. Most of the responses to the survey were taken before the referendum.
St Modwen Properties was also down after it wrote down the value of a London development because of falling house prices.
Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf said, "Given the outflows the sector seems to be experiencing, this could well put downward pressure on commercial property prices."
He added, "The risk is this creates a vicious circle, and prompts more investors to dump property, until such time as sentiment stabilizes."
Green Street Advisors have warned that London office property values could fall as much as 20% within three years of the country leaving the EU as business decide to relocate and the economy deteriorates.
The BOE said valuations in some segments of the U.K. property market have been stretched, notably in the prime sector. There was also a fall of almost 50% in foreign inflows into the commercial real estate market in the first quarter of 2016. Foreign investors have accounted for 45% of the value of transactions since 2009.
"More recently, share prices of real estate investment trusts have fallen sharply, reflecting the risk of future marked adjustments in commercial real estate prices," the central bank's Financial Stability Report stated.