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LONDON-A new survey of property investors by agents DTZ has found that the property industry is losing its traditional parochialism. Some 70% of investors who replied to the survey already hold overseas real estate assets.

The survey questioned representatives from investment vehicles, institutions and property companies, and it found that the majority of respondents go overseas to achieve superior returns. And Europe emerges as their most popular investment target.

And the survey reveals that this trend is set to continue, with 43% of respondents planning to increase overseas real estate investment in the short term; 60% plan to increase their overseas exposure within the next three to five years and 57% plan to increase over the longer term.

When looking to buy overseas, the investors said economic performance, market size and the tax/operating environment are key factors in identifying suitable markets. And lack of local market knowledge appears to be the major stumbling block. To overcome this, the most popular method of entry into overseasmarkets is via joint ventures with local partners.

The survey found that offices are currently the most popular target sector and will remain so over the medium term, however, the retail/leisure sector appears set to see an increase in investor activity. Prime property is, and will remain, of far greater interest to respondents than secondary assets.

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