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LONDON-The UK was Europe’s hottest region and the industrial sector reported the highest gains, according to the European Association for Investors in non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) and the Investment Property Databank (IPD).

Europe’s unlisted property funds made total returns of 9.1%. British property funds achieved returns of 19.5% compared to 12.6% for Portuguese fund returns and 9% for Dutch funds. Italian fund returns were 6.8% and Swiss funds came in at 5.6%. Property has attracted major inflows in recent years from investors who have been faced disappointing returns from bonds and stocks.

Industrial properties enjoyed the strongest gains by asset last year with returns of 16.5%, ahead of retail assets at 13.2%, while office returns were just 2.1%, the report says. The number of funds in the survey increased by 13 to 100, was drawn from seven European nations and holds a total net asset value (NAV) of euro 77 billion ($91.8 billion).

INREV says the index will continue to expand to allow new funds to join its data set. Dutch-registered funds paid out the highest distributions to investors as a percentage of NAV at 7.2%, while Portuguese fund distributions were lowest at 1.7%. UK funds had the highest debt gearing ratios at 69.3%.

INREV was created in May 2003 to act for investors in the non-listed real estate fund sector and is based in the Netherlands. Its members together hold a total of more than 100 billion euros of assets.

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