Anne Tergesen in BusinessWeek notices that fund companies have been adding international real estate to their stable of funds:
In pursuit of higher returns and lower overall risk, savvy investors seek out alternatives such as commodity or real estate funds. Besides their profit potential, alternatives are prized because they don’t generally behave like stocks and bonds. Now a small but growing number of mutual funds are making a new flavor of alternative investment available to individuals — international real estate. It’s not a must-have for every portfolio. But if you want to be as diversified as possible, it makes sense to spread your real estate exposure around the globe.
It is hard to get a handle on relative valuations between REITs in the United States and overseas. It could very well be the case that real estate is overvalued around the globe, but in theory diversifying overseas, and in real estate specifically merits some attention.