Institutional investors expect to reduce the amount they commit to real estate funding by an average of 11% this year, according to a survey released this week by Institutional Real Estate Inc. and Kingsley Associates.

The 24th annual Institutional Investors Real Estate Trends report found that pension funds, endowments, foundations and other large-scale investors plan to commit $70 billion of new capital to real estate this year, down from $75 billion in 2019.

Projections for 2020 slipped for both domestic and foreign investors, Jim Woidat, executive vice president with Kingsley Associates, said in a prepared statement.The report's authors cautioned, however, that in recent years investors' predictions have underestimated their actual real estate funding.

The survey of 196 institutional investors was conducted between Nov.12, 2019 and Feb. 4, 2020, a period largely before concerns about the financial impacts of COVID-19 swept the globe. Still, the report "does reflect a late-cycle investment mood and conveys what investors are thinking about for their long-term plans," the report's authors said.

Of the 196 investors surveyed, 129 are based in the US while the remaining 67 have foreign headquarters. The investors reported $8.85 trillion in total assets under management with $874 billion in real estate assets.

The report found that both foreign and domestic institutions rated the United States as the most attractive region for real estate investments, a rating that reached the highest levels in recent years, Woldat said. Northern Europe, Australia and Japan were also popular investment targets among survey-takers.

Project types expected to receive funding remain largely in line with 2019 spending, according to the report. Industrial, multifamily and medical office properties remained the most attractive for US investors.


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Cheryl Miller

Cheryl Miller, based in Sacramento, covers the state legislature and emerging industries, including autonomous vehicles and marijuana. She authors the weekly cannabis newsletter Higher Law. Contact her at [email protected]. On Twitter: @CapitalAccounts