The Church of England’s property portfolio boosted returns for its investment fund in 2013.

Property returned close to 17% for the church’s investment fund, with respective returns of 20.6% and 16.9% from residential and commercial property. Overall, the fund recorded returns of 15.9% in 2013.

The church said it took advantage of “strong demand for quality period properties in London”, selling offices with planning permission for residential conversion.

Indirect property returned 9.1% for the church, which increased its allocations within the UK and US markets to fund care homes and residential properties. A commitment of $75m was made to US manager Castlelake to purchase residential land plots in California, Illinois, Georgia and Texas.

“These will be brought forward to provide new family housing over the next few years and should complement our strategic land portfolio in the UK,” the church said.

Infrastructure was a new asset class for the fund during the year, as it made a €40.5m investment. Timber and forestry allocations returned 9.5%.

The church said the results showed the benefit of “taking a truly long-term approach and having a highly diversified portfolio”.