Asia-Pacific may seem small compared to the rest of the world – the region encompasses only 35% of the world’s land mass. However, Asia-Pacific hosts 63% of the global population and such is the rising prominence of the region that it has been estimated that Asia’s wealth could overtake that of the US by 2015. Preqin currently tracks over 330 Asia-Pacific-based institutions with an interest in private real estate funds, which is approximately 10% of the worldwide investor pool. In light of easing real estate regulations for insurers in both China and Taiwan and their voracious appetite for direct property, we could see more investors venturing into the private funds arena in the longer term.
The top 100 Asia-Pacific investors with a preference for private real estate funds have a combined AUM of approximately $16.8tn, with at least $246bn allocated to the real estate asset class. At present, they have capital commitments of more than $18bn to unlisted vehicles. The most numerous institutional investor type in Asia-Pacific are insurance companies - they comprise 27% of the top 100 private fund investors. Banks make up 18% while asset managers account for 12% of the investor pool. Ten percent of institutional investors in unlisted vehicles are superannuation schemes while 9% of the investor pool consists of sovereign wealth funds.
Japanese firms form the largest (23%) proportion of the top 100 institutions in the Asia-Pacific region. Australian institutions account for 20% while 17% hail from South Korea. This is followed by firms based in China (12%), Singapore (8%), India (5%) and Taiwan (4%).
In terms of strategy, core vehicles are highly favoured; 73% of the top 100 Asia-Pacific investors with an interest in private real estate vehicles will consider this fund type. There is substantial investor appetite for opportunistic funds - 59% of the institutional pool has a preference for this strategy. Fifty-three percent are interested in core-plus and value added funds while 41% of the investor pool are inclined towards debt vehicles.