GLOBAL - A report published this week suggests funds are now deploying capital already raised amid a global slowdown in equity-raising.

Capital available to invest in real estate in 2012 has fallen 4% from the end of last year to $316bn (€323bn), according to DTZ's latest 'Great Wall of Money' report.

In regional terms, only the US recorded an increase in new capital, up 3% to $114bn.

DTZ associate director of forecasting and strategy Nigel Almond attributed the decline in forecast available capital to economic uncertainty, which, were it to continue, could encourage fund managers to extend the lives of their vehicles to deploy existing commitments.

Meanwhile, an increase in Asian transaction volumes last year and in the first half of 2011 has encouraged funds to take advantage of attractive pricing.

DTZ forecast that, despite "more modest" cross-border activity overall, investment in Asia could increase from 11% in the past 18 months to more than 65%.

Almond contrasted the region with Europe, which has seen little shift in available capital, but meagre transaction activity that has made capital difficult to deploy.

More than half (52%) of funds are now single-country vehicles, up from 30% in 2009, according to the report.

Its authors described the trend as "reflective of sentiment post-crisis", with investors preferring to invest in a market they already know. 

Of these funds, most (51%) target the US, followed by 10% targeting the UK.

Despite the single-country preference, evidence of diversification of property types in 80% of funds indicates a preference for flexibility in investment of capital.

Among single-sector funds, retail leads with 35%, followed by industrial.