For the first time, the five biggest real estate fund managers in the world each have more than €100bn in assets under management (AUM), according to a report.

The latest annual fund manager survey published by real estate associations INREV, ANREV and NCREIF shows Blackstone continuing to lead the pack, with more than €184bn in AUM.

The report suggests total global real estate AUM among the 162 companies surveyed had rised by 11.6% in year, to €2.7trn.

The other top five fund managers, from second to fifth, were Brookfield Asset Management, PGIM, Hines and TH Real Estate.

The size of the top five managers has increased significantly in recent years. In 2015, the fifth largest managed less than €60bn.

While growth was greatest among large fund managers, with the top 10 managers accounting for 38.7% of the global total, gains were made across the board with average AUM for all 162 survey participants reaching €16.7bn, compared with €13.6bn in 2016.

But despite the significant overall headline numbers, the largest managers in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific delivered quite different levels of total AUM at €95.3bn, €63bn and €45.9bn, respectively.

Non-listed real estate made up the lion’s share of total AUM globally, accounting for 83.3% or €2.3trn. In Europe, non-listed real estate represented 92.9% of total AUM.

Funds dominated the composition of the non-listed real estate market, providing almost half of the global, and 51.3% of the European, totals.

Asia-Pacific strategies, in particular, showed a significant proportion of AUM (58.8%) being attributed to non-listed real estate funds. 

One in four fund managers recorded having been involved in merger and acquisition activity over the past decade, slightly up on last year and continuing the trend for consolidation, possibly explaining the dominance of large players. 

As in previous years, the latest survey showed that the bulk of capital was contributed by pension funds: 51.3% in Asia-Pacific, 47.3% in North America, and 43% in Europe. In Asia-Pacific, sovereign wealth funds were the second most significant contributors of capital at 15.6%, while in Europe this slot was held by insurance companies, at 31.2%.

Commenting on the findings, Lonneke Löwik, INREV’s CEO, said: “Real estate is clearly firing on all cylinders with the top 10 players making very sizeable gains.

“One of the really exciting elements of this year’s survey is that non-listed funds have proved a powerful engine for overall growth.  It’s a picture we’ve seen emerging over the past four years and all the indications are that this trend is set to continue.”