A survey of affluent U.S. households found that 21 percent are likely to increase their investment in real estate within the next three months, according to Phoenix Marketing International, a research and marketing company.

Investment buying sentiment among mass affluent households continued an upward trend that began in August 2005, according to the latest Phoenix Affluent Marketing Service survey. About 42 percent of mass affluent households plan to make net increases to their portfolio in the next three months, up from 38 percent in February 2005.

The survey questioned where mass affluent households that plan to make net portfolio increases are most likely to increase assets: 70 percent are likely to increase positions in retirement accounts; 62 percent in deposit accounts; 46 percent in mutual funds; 42 percent in stocks; 13 percent in fixed income, 11 percent in business investments, 21 percent in real estate and 3 percent in alternative investments.

About 53 percent of mass affluent consumers plan to make no net changes to their portfolios, while just 4 percent say they are likely to make net decreases to their portfolios in the next three months.

“Affluent consumers, a highly risk averse group, are showing signs of confidence in the economy as they move their money back into the stock market,” said David Thompson, vice president of affluent practice at Phoenix Marketing International. “This continued momentum is an excellent opportunity for financial planners to expand and diversify their customers’ portfolios.”

The data is weighted to be representative of affluent households (who have a minimum of $250,000 in investable assets and/or $150,000 in household income) nationally.

The latest survey had 1,100 respondents. The survey focuses on plans to change investment portfolios within the next three months.

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