Belgian pension funds are increasing their allocations to real estate as their investments in other asset classes remain stable or decline, the Belgian Association of Pension Institutions reported during a recent financial seminar .

Secretary general Hugo Clemeur said the association had observed the trend towards greater investment in real estate among large pension funds over the past five years. "It's a slow trend. "It hasn't been spectacular," he said.

Asked why larger funds in particular had increased their real estate allocations, he told IPE Real Estate: "The evidence is not conclusive."

He added: "Real estate is considered to an asset class not related to other asset classes. It could be that they want a better approach to diversification."

The association identified "a notable difference" in allocations to real estate and other alternative asset classes between large and small pension funds.

"There are no signs that smaller pension funds are catching up. It matches a trend for larger funds to increase their currency holdings. Smaller funds stay with the euro. Larger funds are interested in the dollar and the yen."