GERMANY - Open-ended real estate funds focusing on Germany have returned 0.5% in January, outperforming the overall market, according to new research from IPD.

According to IPD OFIX index, open-ended real estate funds returned 0.2% in January, in line with their performance trend the previous year.

The index also showed that funds focusing on Germany achieved a 0.5% return, compared with funds investing globally, which returned 0% over the same month.

In its Investment Property Databank, IPD also revealed that the return to German-focused funds had exceeded the OFIX-ALL index by 0.9 percentage points over the last 12 months.

In addition, IPD said the gap between strongly and weakly performing funds widened after the financial turmoil of 2008.

Before 2009, the spread of fund returns between the lower and upper quartiles was generally less than 2 percentage points, with a record low of only 0.7 points in 2008, IPD said.

However, with the ongoing crisis and several funds in liquidation, return differences rose to 3.3 percentage points in 2010 and then 3.7 points in 2011.

Sebastian Gläsner, head of fund services at IPD, said: "On the return side, the fund crisis is at present a phenomenon of the weak-performing funds and not of the overall market."

Of the 22 OFIX funds with €75.3bn NAV, the possibility for investors to sell shares at NAV only exists for 13, according to IPD.

In four of the funds, redemptions are temporarily suspended, and five other funds have moved beyond this stage into liquidation.

Daniel Piazolo, managing director at IPD, said: "It is striking that all six OFIX funds that are in liquidation have registered significantly negative returns over the last 12 months, while, with only one exception, the remaining 16 OFIX funds have shown positive annual returns.

"We assume this dichotomy in fund returns will persist for the time being."