Neil Woodford buys shares in property giants including Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Developments, British Land and Crest Nicholson

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Neil Woodford is the founding partner of Woodford Investment Management

Star fund manager Neil Woodford is putting his money on property giants in the UK, the latest tally of his portfolio holdings has revealed.

Details of his new Woodford Income Focus fund, revealed for the first time, have shown that UK housebuilders including Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Developments are among his top 10 holdings.

Other property companies in Woodford's Income Focus fund include NewRiver REIT, the third largest shopping centre owner in the UK, Crest Nicholson, Bovis Homes and British Land.

Read more: Shopping centre giant's profits rise as Brits splash cash outside London

Mark Dampier, head of research, Hargreaves Lansdown, said that the high-profile fund manager's portfolio shows he's upbeat about the UK economy.

"There’s more than a whiff of optimism about the UK economy in Neil Woodford’s new portfolio, which suggests a shift in his market outlook. He doesn’t have a crystal ball, but his reading of the big macroeconomic picture has been uncannily accurate in the past.

"Woodford appears to be playing the UK economy in large part via the property sector, with a number of REITs and housebuilders featuring in the portfolio, not to mention Lloyds which has exposure to the UK property market through its mortgage book.

Read more: Taxpayer out, Woodford in: Taxpayers set to shed Lloyds stake this week

"The list of holdings in the new fund is much shorter than in the Woodford Equity Income fund, which has a long tail of smaller growth companies. However both funds demonstrate a high conviction approach to investing, with punchy positions in the biggest stocks in the portfolio."

"Delivering a high and growing income is no easy task and to deliver results the manager will have to get his stock selection right, as well as his call on the UK economy. Ultimately we will only be able to measure the fund’s success in the years to come, but Neil Woodford’s exceptional track record lends confidence. Our initial feeling is that Neil and his team have certainly grasped the bull by the horns and are backing their convictions.’

Last week it emerged that Woodford had bought £200m in shares in Lloyds bank while he sold off the remainder of his fund's £1.2bn stake in GlaxoSmithKline earlier this month.

Here are the top nine property firms Woodford has invested in:

Company name Weight

Taylor Wimpey

2.52 per cent
Barratt Developments

2.50 per cent

NewRiver REIT 2.08 per cent
Sirius Real Estate

1.52 per cent
British Land

1.25 per cent

Crest Nicholson

1.22 per cent
Bovis Homes 1.15 per cent
Londonmetric Property

One per cent
Regional REIT 0.27 per cent

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