Real Estate Fund Assets Under Management Exceed $3.5T

Real estate assets under management had a record 2019, according to an industry survey.

The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, Chicago, Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles, Hong Kong, and European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles, Amsterdam, Netherlands, said total real estate AUM grew 15.7 percent during 2019 to end the year at $3.6 trillion.

“This year’s results reflect a sizeable rise compared to 2018, despite the fact that a number of managers were unable to respond to the survey because of the COVID-19 global health pandemic,” the report said. “The growth in total assets under management was largely attributable to increased investor inflows and capital appreciation.”

The average AUM per manager increased from $18.1 billion in 2018 to $26 billion in 2019, the report said. The ten largest managers account for nearly 40 percent of total AUM, similar to levels seen in recent years.

The three largest fund managers in the world, Blackstone, Brookfield and PGIM, reported real estate portfolios exceeding $168 billion each. Blackstone maintained its lead for the fourth consecutive year, reporting more than $270 billion in assets under management.

“There are some variations across regional investment strategies worth noting,” the report said. “The two largest managers among Asian-Pacific strategies are substantially larger than its peers. For European and North American strategies, the gap between the largest managers and the rest is less pronounced.”

Funds have consolidated in recent years. That continued during 2019, with more than 20 percent of managers saying they were involved in mergers and acquisitions activities over the last ten years at the same level as in previous years.

All top-five managers have their head office in North America, and all of them increased their real estate AUM compared with 2018. All top-ten fund managers reported AUM exceeding $95 billion, a sizeable increase from 2018, when a manager needed just $73 billion to get into the top 10, the report said.