Consequently, Europe is becoming an attractive alternative. Specifically, Europe’s slow growth environment and lack of competitors have allowed Wells Fargo to acquire market share and grow quickly.

Other companies are also eying the European real estate market. General Electric Corp’s GE Capital has raised its European commercial-property debt portfolio to $4.7 billion at the end of June from $3.1 earlier in the year and could raise that to as much as $8 billion in three years. J.P. Morgan joined with Lone Star to acquire a $5.6 billion portfolio of Commerzbank commercial property loans in Spain and Portugal.

iShares Europe Developed Real Estate ETF

For more information on real estate investment trusts, visit our REITs category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.