The alternative sector will be seen as core within the next 10 years, with healthcare, retirement living, leisure and pubs offering the biggest opportunities.

Speaking at today's Estates Gazette Alternative Assets Summit, CBRE executive director of specialist markets David Batchelor said five of the world's six leading real estate billionaires were already invested in alternatives, highlighting the growth potential over the next decade.

"Retirement villages are going to be an investment class for long-dated investors within the next five years," he said. "Investors who get into the market now are going to do pretty well.

"Primary healthcare is going to become the investment vehicle in the healthcare market in the next 10 years."

He also predicted growing prominence for leisure and pubs.

"The pressure for pub companies to become REITs is almost irresistible. There is going to be a large move to REITs and those REITs are going to become some of the best-performing REITs in the market.

"And within the next two years there will be a significant institutional investment in the caravan market," he said.

The number of pubs in the UK has fallen from 60,000 to around 47,000 in the past five years, as customers increasingly prefer drinking at home instead of going to their local for a pint.

In such a difficult climate, what financing solutions are on the table for pub managers that want to improve their properties and stay in business? And if all else fails, what other uses can an a pub property be put to?

Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marstons, the brewers and pub operators, and Simon Johnson, specialist markets, CBRE, speak to EG finance reporter Sophia Furber on the sidelines of the Estates Gazette Alternative Assets Summit.