The buildup in REIT capital that occurred in the U.S. last year also occurred in certain global markets such as the U.K., Australia and to a lesser extent, Singapore, according to Steve Buller, global portfolio manager at Fidelity Investments. In general, the global markets are starting to see an accelerated shift toward REIT structures and real estate public offerings after a pause of a few years, he says. "Now the global markets are moving into a stage of external growth," he says. Acquisitions will be a dominant activity, particularly in the U.K., where more distressed assets are expected to come to market.

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