Investors bank big on trust

CLARENCE Property Corporation has released its latest Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) seeking to raise a further $31.2 million to expand its Westlawn Property Trust, which has grown to more than $300 million in assets during the past 13 years.

The latest PDS has raised $4 million in its first two weeks, which is a good early response according to Peter Fahey, managing director of Clarence Property Corporation, manager of the Trust.

Mr Fahey, previously a principal of LJ Hooker Grafton, said: "The trust has grown steadily over the past 13 years."

The Westlawn Trust offers investors an alternative to making their own small-scale property investments.

It adds value by pooling resources and getting benefits of scale and diversity.

Clarence Property Corporation handles the majority of the property management of the properties as well as supervising external consultants on the city properties.

The Property Trust's portfolio includes Yamba Shopping Fair, Country Energy House in Port Macquarie, a five-storey office building in the CBD of Lismore, and a $136 million Brisbane CBD office tower.

The Trust still owns the first property it bought in 1994 at 72-78 Prince Street, Grafton.

The Trust currently pays investors a monthly income of eight per cent, which it earns from the rent on its portfolio of properties.

Investors can also benefit from capital growth when the value of the underlying properties increases, Mr Fahey said.

When these two returns were added together the Trust has returned an average of 14.73 per cent each year for the past seven years, he said.

Directors of Clarence Property Corporation include Jim and Mike Dougherty, and Geoff Shepherd. The same directors have sat on the board since the Trust first commenced public capital raisings in 1999.

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