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We’ve looked at, reported on, and acted on recent property sector ‘insiders’ activity (click on ‘real estate’ tag to the left).

Now Anthony Bolton, guru portfolio manager, tells us he is doing the same thing, namely buying property stocks. Follow this link to The Times article. 

Bolton has an awesome reputation, so please listen to him.

On November 16th we saw Gt Portland director Peskin buying £1.6m worth of shares (see ‘Another buy by Real Estate sector director’). Since then he has continued to buy, investing a further £1.1m at prices between 458p and 477p.

Gt Portland CEO and CFO Toby Courtauld and Tim Drakesmith have also pulled their chequebooks out. The CEO and Executive Director of Derwent (DLN) too have been active, investing over £500k between them, as have directors at Minerva (MNR) and Real Estate Investors (RLE).

However not all insiders believe the sector is cheap. Note Robert Bowden of British Land (BLND), selling 100,000 at 840p, about 1/5th of his total holding.

The jury is clearly still out, but as I noted on November 19th, I needed one more director to buy shares, and we’ve seen that in Silver and Burns of Derwent London.

Disclosure: I have a position in GPOR

What credibility do you give to this share purchase:

1. 40+ years exerience in the sector

2. Non exec Chairman

3. Sold around £750k of stock in May this year (great timing)

4. First purchase in 5 years (I don’t have the data before then)

5. Increased position in company by 300%

6. Bought £1.6m of stock at prices between 496p and 515p, having sold £744k’s worth in May this year at 708p.

Richard Peskin, Non exec Chairman of Gt Portland Estates.

Take a look at Richard Peskin of Great Portland Estates. He looks like a happy guy doesn’t he?

Gt Portland Estates Development Director Noel also put money to work, but only a measly £50k. This is the second purchase in the sector since Hammerson last week (Non exec Clare, who also bought back stock he had sold earlier in the year at prices 50% higher than today).

When we see the third director purchase in this sector then it is time for me to buy too.

Addendum: see FT Alphaville article on sector: http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2007/11/19/8998/mid-season-stock-clearance-in-the-property-sector/

Addendum: 20 November- Peskin bought another 150,000 shares, taking his holding to 583,000, having spent £716,000.

With the real estate sector underperforming the banks by 10 points (-32% last six months, banks -23%) we might also want to look for some indicators that the underperformance is coming to an end. The only news I can find is a non exec at Hammerson (HMSO), Clare, who more than doubled is holding in the group by investing £102k at prices close to £10. Considering executive board members managed to get out at prices in the £15-£16 range, I think this purchase is significant.

But…. this is the only guy buying, and to make a confident call, I’d love to see some of those executive directors buying back stock, before I do. So Hammerson goes on the ‘watchlist’ pending further news.

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