Suggested vs. Actual Institutional Allocattion to Real Estate in Europe: A Matter of Size
The allocation to real estate by institutional investors has increased in recent years and as a result the gap between suggested and actual allocations has narrowed. The increased inflow of capital to the real estate market is suggested to be a function of two factors: An increased focus on absolute return target investments amongst institutional investors and an increased target allocation to real estate. We argue that the increased target allocation is made possible mainly by the development of new investment vehicles, in particular of private real estate funds, but also of the growing integration of economic regions and of other factors such as the development of investment benchmarks. The flows needed for the actual allocation by European institutional investors to match the suggested allocation constitute at least 31% of the real estate equity universe held by owner occupiers. We estimate that seven years would be needed to reach the target allocation, but it is unlikely that sufficient investment opportunities will arise unless the willingness of owner occupiers to outsource their real estate assets increases.
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