UNITED STATES - PGGM has decided to expand its investment in US residential property with Behringer Harvard by as much as an additional $200m (€136.3m).

The two firms first formed a partnership in May of 2007 with PGGM investing $100m but around 80% of that capital has now been invested in 11 separate transactions so further extensions are being made, said Mark Alfieri, senior vice-president at Behringer Harvard.

"It is now time to grow the program with some new capital. It's our opinion the apartment market is in a good position. There is strong rental demand in most major markets with many more segments of the population looking to rent rather than buying a single-family home. And this situation should hold for a while," he added.

PGGM has committed another $100m to the program right away but the Dutch pension fund - now the Netherlands' second-largest with €88bn in assets under management - and does have an option to add another $100m of capital to the program in the future.

Total capitalization in the relationship is around $1.8bn-$1.9bn and this will be achieved by using 65% debt, 35% equity.

The investment strategy of this programme is to target the financing and purchase of well-located high quality apartment properties across the US, which are in the planning stages, currently under construction or recently completed.

The initial $100m of capital was invested in properties within the Washington DC, Las Vegas, Florida, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Denver markets.

However, this new capital is expected to be invested in different locations, based largely along the East and West Coasts, so markets being considered include California, Seattle, Boston and South Florida.

Behringer Harvard and PGGM invest in apartments through nationall- known apartment companies such as Fairfield, Trammell Crow Residential and Greystar.

A target size deal for the partnership is in the range of $40m-$60m for total capitalization, of which $30-35m is actual equity.