In a statement, the firm said it had suspended dealing with immediate effect in an effort to safeguard investors.
“The extraordinary market circumstances, which are impacting the wider industry, have resulted in a lack of immediate liquidity in the Aviva Investors Property Trust,” the firm explained, adding that the suspension will provide Aviva Investors with “greater control in managing cashflows and conducting orderly asset sales in order to meet our obligations to investors wishing to redeem their holdings”.
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said the move by Aviva implies the dominos are starting to fall in the UK commercial property market, adding: “It is probably only a matter of time before we see other funds follow suit.
According to Khalaf, investors should focus on the reasons why they invested in the asset class in the first place, as the sector is likely to see further challenging times ahead.
“These managers will now be adding to the supply of commercial properties on the market, which is likely to put downward pressure on prices. Foreign investors might be tempted in by the fall in Sterling, but equally they may decide to steer well clear of an economy in limbo,” he added.