The property "vultures" are ready to gorge on the bodies of victims of the current downturn, with Real Estate Investors (REI) leading the way.

It is bucking the trend and committing £100 million to buy commercial property in the Midlands.

REI has refinanced part of its debt-free property portfolio, raising a further £20 million through the Birmingham office of Bank of Scotland to provide a total war chest of £100 million.

Through his private company Bond Wolfe Assets, regional investor Paul Bassi owns 20.47 per cent of REI having continued to purchase shares in the group throughout 2007.

He said: "Despite the credit crunch and the reluctance of some banks to fund commercial property, REI has refinanced part of its debt-free property portfolio and released a further £20 million which, together with existing cash and bank facilities, will provide it with £100 million of firepower to capitalise on commercial property opportunities in the present market, effectively creating a specialist regional vulture fund."

He said many funds have been selling commercial property investments at significantly below valuation in order to release funds to their policy holders.