EUROPE - Finnish investors expect to increase allocations to non-listed real estate by nearly a third over the next three years, according to a study.

The new INREV study on the investor universe in Finland showed investors in the Nordic country saw themselves raising their allocations to the asset sub-class by 27% in the next three years.

It also reported that the general real-estate universe of Finnish investors was expected to grow by about 21% in the same time-frame.

Lonneke Löwik, INREV's director research and market information, said: "The recent economic uncertainty has actually shed a positive light on real estate investments in general for Finnish investors.

"Although they still have a strong preference for direct investments, some have expressed an interest in greater diversification, which will mainly come from non-listed investments."

The study revealed that, within property investment, holdings of local bricks-and-mortar are preferred. Eighty percent of the total investment universe was channelled into direct, domestic, core real estate investments, INREV found.

Only 12% of all Finnish property investments were made abroad, it said.

Löwik said: "Finnish real estate has proven to be relatively stable during the financial crisis. It is hardly surprising many investors see no need to go outside their country."

Pension insurance companies dominate the real-estate investor universe in Finland, accounting for more than half of it, the association found.

They were also the biggest investor group in the non-listed real estate sector, though with a smaller market share of 36%.

Pension schemes and life insurance companies made up 33% and 22% of the non-listed real estate sector, respectively.

INREV is the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate vehicles.