This paper investigates the extent to which clients were able to influence performance measurement appraisals during the downturn in commercial property markets that began in the UK during the second half of 2007. The sharp change in market sentiment produced speculation that different client categories were attempting to influence their appraisers in different ways. In particular, it was recognised that the requirement for open‐ended funds to meet redemptions gave them strong incentives to ensure that their asset values were marked down to market. Using data supplied by Investment Property Databank, we demonstrate that, indeed, unlisted open‐ended funds experienced sharper drops in capital values than other fund types in the last quarter of 2007, after the market turning point and at the time when redemptions were at their highest. These differences are statistically significant and cannot simply be explained by differences in portfolio composition. Client influence on appraisal forms one possible explanation of the results observed: the different pressures on fund managers resulting in different appraisal outcomes
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