GLOBAL - Most UK investors are looking to increase their exposure to Asia Pacific real estate markets in the next three years, according to a survey conducted by Aviva Investors.

The investment manager surveyed 110 investors - institutional investors, pension consultants, wealth managers and independent financial advisers - at its annual real estate conference in London.

The results showed 74% of investors were likely to invest outside their domestic market over the next three years.

Asia Pacific was perceived as the most compelling investment opportunity, with only 20% looking to increase their exposure to UK real estate and a smaller number looking to do so in Europe (10%) and the US (11%).

Half of those surveyed said their investment strategies would comprise a mixture of listed and non-listed real estate.

The positive prospects for the Asia Pacific region was echoed by Aviva Investors, which said Asia was showing signs of a strong recovery and had become one of the most attractive international real estate markets for long-term investors.

Ian Hally, chief executive for Asia Pacific real estate at Aviva Investors, said: "Real estate is a key asset class for long-term investors, but questions have been asked recently about whether there is any value left following this year's rally in the UK."

As a result, he said, many investors have started "looking east beyond their home borders".

He added: "Asian economies look to be much better placed for recovery than their western counterparts, making real estate investments in the region particularly compelling, which has been less reliant on debt over the past decade at a government, corporate and personal level. This should lead to stronger investor and occupier demand."

Aviva Investors said the strong prospects of the region were driven by a number of fundamental and cyclical factors, such as high future economic growth, workforce expansion in key Asian cities and a strong outlook for retail and residential based on increasing wealth and urbanisation.