GLOBAL - Real estate investors are more likely than equity and fixed income investors to focus on income, according to a global survey of fund managers conducted by Aviva Investors.

In a poll of 188 fund managers, 83% of real estate managers said their clients were more focused on income today than they had been previously, compared with 71% of equity and 67% of fixed income managers.

Global director of multi-manager Nick Mansley said the real estate finding had surprised him.

He added that the focus on income would be a "long-lasting theme", despite being driven by low cash yields and continued uncertainty over macro growth.

The same survey threw up mixed forecasts for capital growth.

Most managers expected returns of between 0% and 10%, with 14% expecting capital growth of more than 10%.

However, 17% of those polled expected a fall in capital values. 

Mansley suggested the range of views reflected variable global market conditions.

Those polled included managers from the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Real estate accounted for the greatest number of respondents (50), compared with 44 equity, 43 private equity, 28 hedge fund and 23 fixed-income managers.

Risk was uppermost in real estate managers' minds, with 60% citing market and economic conditions as the greatest challenge facing the real estate market.

A third of managers said continental European real estate had been "overhyped" and that emerging markets offered poor returns compared with the risks involved.

Unsurprisingly, more than 70% of real estate managers identified global diversification as important to generate returns and reduce risk - a view they said their clients shared.