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Survey: Most Real Estate Investors Expanding Portfolios

Over eight in 10 U.S. real estate investors are making moves to shore up their portfolios even as talk of a double-dip recession persists, according to a recent survey. More shocking: most of the survey respondents parted ways with Americans at large by agreeing that the economy is headed in a northerly direction.

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Conducting the survey in early August, ""Colliers International"":http://www.colliers.com/SplashPage.aspx deployed the ""2011 Colliers International Global Investor Sentiment Survey"":http://www.colliers.com/globalinvestment as a way to measure investor appetite for risk and optimism.

It measured investor sentiment on a clock, with 6 o'clock signifying feelings toward a rock-bottom market, 12 o'clock a market at peak, and 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock a market on the upswing and downswing, respectively.

Where time is it for the markets? According to the survey, most real estate investors believe it is headed toward 9 o'clock, up from 6 o'clock, and expect it to stay between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock over 2012.

""Far more investors are looking at expanding their portfolios compared to last year,"" James Horne, executive sponsor of Colliers' Global Investor Sentiment Survey, said in a ""statement"":http://news.yahoo.com/global-investor-sentiment-survey-reveals-commercial-property-investors-165406103.html. ""However, talk of a double-dip recession continues to occur. Toward the end of 2010, most economic commentary was becoming more confident; however, this is not the case now.""

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Sixty percent of real estate investors say they want to assume more risk for their portfolios despite lingering concerns over the state of market conditions, according to the survey.

The survey found investors agreeing with the idea that more plan to ""move off the sidelines and back into the buying pool.""

Over 70 percent of investors deem their market moves ""more likely,"" with over 15 percent of investors seeing an expansion in their portfolios as ""somewhat likely"" into the near future.

This is a rise from the 2010 survey, which found 60 percent of investors making plans to invest in more property over 2011.

Even so, 62 percent cite growth concerns over properties for sale in their inventory, while 20 percent and 11 percent of the same investors say that their ability to raise new equity and access debt arose as their second and third concerns, respectively.

Expectations among investors for returns on their investments split hairs, with one-third of the respondents pursuing returns in five to 10 percent of their portfolio, another third on the prowl for returns over 15 percent, and 32 percent, or fewer than one-third, anticipating returns on 10 percent to 15 percent of their assets.

Commenting on the results, Warren Dahlstrom, president of Colliers International's U.S. Investment Services Group, said in a statement that ""[m]ost U.S. investors say they are moving further out on the risk curve relative to six months ago.

""This most likely reflects the dearth of low-risk, fully leased prime real estate currently on the market, and investors being forced into secondary markets and accepting a degree of vacancy,"" he added.

With over 480 offices worldwide, Colliers International is a real estate services company headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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