Germany, France and the Nordics have muscled the UK out of the top three investor picks for non-listed European property funds, with capital adequacy rules doing little to dissuade sector investment, a survey showed.

German retail property was in pole position with 36 percent of investor votes, a big shift from 2010, when it was ranked outside the top ten, the European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate vehicles (INREV) survey said on Tuesday. Retail property in Germany, Europe's largest economy, is outshining that of its peers, driven by revitalised consumer spending, encouraging economic prospects for 2011, and affordable debt finance.

UK commercial property had dominated the top of the list for the last two years, with UK office, retail, industrial logistics and diversified filling out three of the top four spots, the survey showed.

This year, French office space was ranked second with 33 percent, while German offices were third with 27 percent, and Nordic retail was fourth at 24 percent, leaving UK office, UK retail and Nordic diversified tied for fifth place.