UK - Pension funds and other institutional investors poured more capital into the UK real estate market in the fourth quarter of 2009 than during any other three-month period on record, according to the Association of Real Estate Funds (AREF).

Pooled real estate funds raised a record £3.2bn (€3.65bn) during Q4 2009, beating the previous record of £1.7bn in 2006, and making it the highest amount ever raised in three months.

The 65 pooled property funds surveyed by AREF continued to record positive net fund flows of £2.9bn in the fourth quarter, which was 6.5 times higher than the £400m achieved a quarter ago.

"2009 was a volatile year, but it ended on a positive note with record new money coming in to the funds as well as the final quarter showing extraordinary growth in total returns," said AREF chief executive John Cartwright.

"This marks the second quarter of positive net sales, signalling the resurgence in popularity for property funds.

"Interestingly, whilst retail investors remain extremely active, we have also seen significant new money from institutional investors who tend to have longer term investment horizons," he added.