Total returns from U.S. real estate investments have peaked and will begin to moderate in the second half of the year, according to Prudential Real Estate Investors, Parsippany, N.J.In its quarterly outlook report on the real estate markets, PREI said it expects private, unleveraged real estate investments to produce average total returns of 12%-15% this year. Investment activity appears to be slowing because of rising long-term interest rates and high asset values, the company said. "Real estate fundamentals have continued to improve as the economy has expanded and, while transaction activity continues at a fairly brisk pace, the market appears to be slowing from its somewhat frenzied rate of recent years," said Youguo Liang, managing director and head of PREI Research. "The balance of power seems to be shifting slightly in favor of buyers." PREI, the real estate investment and advisory business of Prudential Financial Inc., can be found online at http://www.prei.com.

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