WORLDVIEW: Hard to buy world’s fastest appreciating property, but here’s an alternative

By Alec Hogg

During a recent presentation here in London, I was introduced to an unusual investment which carries a strong message about winners and losers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A dozen years back, Europe’s biggest fund manager Schroders created a unit trust that invests in property exclusively in global cities. The fund has comfortable beaten most alternatives, consistently ranking in the top quartile on performance tables.

When the Schroders research team ranks a city’s relative appeal, the size and growth of the population was important. But not exclusively so. To get included, cities also had to possess excellent infrastructure, top universities and “skilled workers with high disposable incomes”.

Based on these criteria, Europe’s biggest asset manager created a Global Cities Index which it adjusts annually. The index started with an initial database of 160 cities and refined them to a ranking of the 30 most attractive. The top four – Beijing, Shanghai, Shenz...

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