As an asset class, real estate is growing in importance to professional advisors and their clients. Not only did the asset class provide high returns in the past few years, but managers kept improving the opportunities for investments. Enthusiasm seems to be growing for the class in general, and for new offerings in particular.The run-up in prices over the last few years grabbed headlines. But from the 30 percent average pace of recent times, advisors expect that performance will drop into a more reasonable range, perhaps in the high single digits.

"We've been very fortunate with the run-up in real estate in the last number of years," said Glenn Frank, CPA, PFS, of Wachovia Wealth Management in Waltham, Mass. "Now, we're naturally moving assets into other classes to keep portfolios diversified."

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