Multi-billion dollar demand for Asian real estate investments has boosted the fund raising efforts of global managers such as Prudential and CLSA. 

But while Asia’s non-listed real estate vehicles association, Anrev confirms that pan-Asia core funds are the hot ticket, a lack of core assets means that there is room for value-added funds, two of which have raised around $1.5 billion in the last few weeks. 

Anrev released a survey this week highlighting the rising prominence of core real estate in Asia-Pacific. “Pan-Asia core open-ended funds are what investors are looking for” said Anrev’s research director Amelie Delaunay.

Historically, Australia and Japan-focused core open-ended funds have been available but not core pan-Asia funds. That is changing, with managers such as Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investors looking to raise at least a billion dollars into their pan-Asia core funds.

Meanwhile, a number of value-added funds have recently reached close. This week, for example, Prudential Real Estate Investors reached first close of its third Asia Property Fund (ASPF III) at $530 million, 20% over its initial fundraising target.

That fund is mandated to make core, value-add and select opportunistic real estate investments and attracted institutional investors from Europe and the Middle East.

Last month, CLSA Capital Partners exceeded its $850 million fund raising target, reaching a $1 billion final close of Fudo Capital III – a value added investment vehicle which also attracted investors from Europe and the Middle East.

By final close, the fund had already deployed over 25% of capital in office, retail and logistics assets located in Hong Kong, Nagoya, Shanghai and Tokyo.

Fund raisings have continued despite real estate fund managers sitting on a record amount of dry powder, commitments raised but not yet deployed.

That follows record fund raising last year. Anrev’s Delaunay said that “Asia-Pacific still has room for more in 2015”.

She pointed out that European investors are more interested in value added opportunities while investors based in Asia-Pacific are keener on core real estate and those in the US are more focused on opportunistic investments.

At the same time, Anrev’s survey highlighted the fact that, globally, nearly 70% of sovereign wealth fund commitments in 2014 were to opportunistic funds, while pension funds and insurance companies preferred to allocate to open-end funds and core strategies.

Anrev found that pension funds accounted for 44% of capital invested into Asia-Pacific funds last year, far ahead of sovereign wealth funds (12%) and insurance companies (10%).

This week, accounting firm PwC released a report estimating that pension fund assets would rise from $37.1 trillion in 2013 to $56.6 trillion by 2020. “A fundamental shift towards alternatives by sovereign and public pension funds” would contribute to real estate and infrastructure investments rising 8.9% per year to 2020, representing the fastest growing alternative asset class.