Australian real estate developer Ashington Capital has launched its third development fund û Ashington Development Fund No 3.

With an expected internal rate of return of 20% and an equity target of A$200 million ($240 million), the fund is looking to Asia for equity commitments, a first for Ashington.

This will be the first time Ashington is raising capital outside of Australia and has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle to act as its international placement agent. Jones Lang LaSalleÆs Structured Finance team will be assisting Ashington in seeking equity capital of up to A$200 million.

The fund targets real estate opportunities on AustraliaÆs east coast, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, and is set to close by late-November.

It will target a return net of fees on invested capital for the fund through the development of premium quality real estate across the residential, office, hotel, and retail space on the eastern seaboard of Australia. The specialised team of real estate investment and finance professionals focuses on providing capital raising and financial advisory services to fund managers and property investors.

Ashington managing director Craig Anderson says the current downturn presents attractive opportunities to further expand the firmÆs development business in the longer term by capitalising on the adjustments in the Australian real estate market.

Hendrik Broeker, head of Jones Lang LaSalleÆs structured finance team, says demand for Australian real estate is rising due to the favourable conditions in that market.

ôWe are now seeing a re-allocation of international equity towards Australian real estate due to the expected decrease in interest rates, a weaker Australian dollar and a lowering of the withholding tax for certain foreign investors,ö Broeker says. ôAt the same time, there remains strong demand for lifestyle and tourism driven products such as residential and hotels.ö