Real estate funds accounted for the largest proportion of PE capital raised in the fourth quarter of 2012. And the biggest PE fund of any type raised in 2012 was the Blackstone Group LP's (NYSE: BX) global real estate fund, Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII, which took home $13.3 billion and attracted 250 investors. With the real estate market rather soft at the moment, now is a great time for investors to find deals.

There are strong signals that limited partners (LPs) like private real estate funds, with 49 percent of LPs making new commitments to the sector in 2012, and 53 percent planning to make new commitments to the asset class in 2013, according to Preqin.

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