GERMANY - The percentage of German institutions investing in real estate has increased four-fold over the last year and the interest in infrastructure has also gone up, a survey by IPE Institutional Investment has found.

Some 120 institutional investors - 35% of which were pension funds - took part in the online survey carried out by IPE Institutional Investment, a German sister publication to IPE Real Estate.

While in 2008 only 20% of those surveyed noted they had increased their real estate portfolio, 80% did so in 2009.

Most of the new investments in the asset class went into Spezialfonds (47%) and 8% into direct real estate.

A further 20% went into other investment funds and the remaining 5% was placed in "other vehicles", including REITs.

Over 14% of the pension companies who responded to this question said they were already investing in REIT structures while a further 10% are currently looking at it.

The survey also found there is an "increase in interest in infrastructure". Approximately 19% of the pension vehicles already invest in this asset class and 43% are looking into an investment.

In comparison, from the total sample of surveyed only 24% of institutional investors said they were looking into infrastructure which makes the interest among pension funds particularly pronounced.

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