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Warning on investments; MARKET: Feelgood factor on wane over property.

Byline: By Jon Griffin

MIDLAND investors have been warned that the feelgood factor over property is on the wane - while the stock market is also causing concern.

The latest investor confidence index from the Association of Investment Trust Companies makes for gloomy reading as the festive season approaches.

The AITC research reveals that 30 per cent of the general population expect property to outperform the stock market over the next 12 months - a significant drop of 25 per cent since February.

Meanwhile, 58 per cent of active investors expect better returns from equities than property, again down 22 per cent from February.

And 44 per cent of active investors plan to increase their stock market exposure - a 32 per cent drop from February.

The AITC said: "Despite strong returns from equities so far this year, and an apparent 'soft landing' for the UK housing market, the latest investor confidence index from the Association of Investment Trust Companies is a gloomy read.

"The research suggests that the UK's love affair with property investment is on the wane, while this year's stock market rally seems to have made active investors jittery rather than jubilant."

Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director with the AITC, said: "Although still nearly a third of the general public believe property will outperform the stock market over the next year, this figure has been consistently falling.

"We believe the repeated warnings about a property slowdown are beginning to have an impact, but it's a concern that many people are still banking on property prices rising.

"Markets have rallied in recent weeks after Halloween's Merger Monday, but this index completed before then clearly demonstrates that active investors' confidence was knocked by the stock market's tough ride during October.

"We'll have to wait and see whether the recent stock market rises have boosted their confidence
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 23, 2005
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