'Near record' amounts of capital are sitting idly on the sidelines amid economic uncertainty, and how (and how quickly) it's deployed this year will be "major factors" in overall sales volume, according to new research from Colliers.

In a new report, the firm says that value-add, opportunistic, and debt capital look to be the most active, with debt plays yielding "equity-like returns."

"Liquidity can be found, but from different sources," the report notes. Investors are turning to defensive strategies, with multifamily and industrial garnering the most activity as "safe harbors" due to strong fundamentals and durable cash flows. Among alternative assets in Colliers' survey, life science, data centers, and student housing ranked first, second, and third  due to "demographically driven upside and strong fundamentals," which analysts predict will continue to draw investor interest.

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