NETHERLANDS - The latest Investor Universe Netherlands survey shows the Dutch institutional real estate market is large, sophisticated and with considerable overseas exposure.

Lonneke Löwik, director of research and market information at INREV, said: "Dutch investors are highly sophisticated in their strategies for real estate.

"They have used the asset class for longer than their peers in other countries and make strategic decisions to include non-listed [vehicles] in their portfolios, rather than use it as a supplement to their direct investments."

Of the €121.7bn universe, €41.6bn is invested in non-listed vehicles, with real estate representing 10.5% of the total assets of Dutch institutional investors, twice the size of the German institutional real estate universe and about the same size as that of the UK.

Many of the small and medium-sized pension funds in the Netherlands already invest heavily through non-listed vehicles - 75% and 60%, respectively - choosing this route because they want the benefits of real estate, such as stable returns and diversification, but do not have the resources and scale to invest directly.

There is less of a clear trend in real estate investing for larger Dutch investors.

Large insurance companies have invested approximately 60% in direct domestic real estate, 20% in non-listed funds (domestic and non-domestic) and 20% in other categories, such as mortgage-backed securities.

Large pension funds, on the other hand, prefer non-listed funds at 41%, while 33% is invested in listed real estate and only 21% in direct real estate.

Dutch pension funds invest more in real estate abroad than at home, while insurance funds prefer direct domestic investments.

Non-domestic real estate exposure is 57% of the total real estate allocation, compared with 35% in Germany and 11% in the UK.

INREV's survey is the third in a series of reports on the size of the European investor universe following similar studies in the UK and Germany.

A survey on the Swedish universe will be available at the end of the year.