UK - Hines will invest £1bn (€1.19bn) in the UK real estate market over the next three years, including secondary markets, according to the company's newly appointed UK managing director.

The US-based firm hired Ross Blair last month to spearhead its shift in focus from development to investment in the UK, some of which will be funded by third-party capital.

Hines will target secondary markets including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh in a bid for diversification, according to Blair who replaced Jay Wyper as managing director of Hines UK.

The firm has already acquired Birmingham's eight-asset Brindleyplace portfolio in a joint venture with Moorfield, as well as the nearby Snowhill development.

"We spend lots of time researching the supply and demand characteristics in any market we operate in and will aim to invest our capital accordingly," Blair said.

"Lots of multinational tenants have key regional headquarters in these markets and we can therefore aim to work with a high-quality occupier base."

The focus on secondary market is likely a reflection of the aggressive pricing for core assets in the UK capital.

"Core pricing is particularly hot right now - especially in London - and we have to carefully consider the merits of the transactions we are pursuing," said Blair.

Hines' sizeable investment capacity for the UK is based on its own equity, third-party capital sources and debt financing.

Blair scotched press reports that Hines's UK investment was an attempt to offset risks associated with eastern European investments made for its global REIT.

He said the firm's presence in multiple European cities gave it access to a number of opportunities in office, logistics, retail and mixed-use.