A record number of real estate secondary transactions, valued at more than $5.01bn (€4.65bn), took place in 2016, according to Landmark Partners.

The company said it had tracked the largest number of individual secondary trades of real estate funds ever recorded in a single year.

The 99 real estate ‘secondaries’ transactions represented an 8% increase on the number of deals in 2015.

But in dollar value, the total was lower than the record of $8.2bn set in 2015 because of a lack of billion-dollar-plus deals.

Landmark Partners said the transaction volume from 2014 to 2016 averaged around $6bn annually, compared with $2.8bn from 2011 to 2013.

The majority of secondary sellers were located in the US (73%), but there were notable increases in sellers from Europe (20%) and Canada (6%).

US pension funds provided 20% of the aggregate real estate secondary transaction volume in 2016, with 15% originating from non-US, mostly European, pension funds, the firm said.

Landmark Partners, which has charted the volume of real estate secondary transactions since 1996, said pension funds continued to rebalance portfolios and reduce the number of non-core sponsor relationships.

It said US-focused funds made up 65% of total transactions in 2016 – up 16% from 2015.

Similarly, the volume of European funds traded increased by 12% to 29%, with Asia and rest-of-the-world real estate partnerships constituting the remainder of assets sold.

The most active sellers throughout 2016 were fund sponsors, funds of funds and other asset managers. They sold about $1.8bn (37%) of real estate secondaries, compared with $1.5bn in 2015.

Endowments and foundations remained active during 2016, contributing to more than $400m of secondary sales across 14 transactions.

The firm said continued growth and evolution of the real estate secondary market has enabled more institutional investors to implement strategic and tactical changes to their investment programmes.