Undeniably, a $30.4 billion final closing for Blackstone Real Estate Partners X is something for the world’s biggest commercial landlord to celebrate. The firm has “done it again,” we wrote in our coverage this week of the final closing of the latest addition to the sector’s most recognizable opportunistic fund series.

Closing during a period of market volatility and dislocation, “effectively, the full fund is fresh dry powder,” Blackstone’s co-head of real estate Kathleen McCarthy told us.

Indeed, with a market in correction mode, Blackstone has raised approximately 48 percent more equity than its previous record-breaking private equity real estate fund, BREP IX, which the firm closed on $20.5 billion in 2019.

For the New York-based sector powerhouse, the monumental capital haul will offer a welcome distraction from the continued redemption queues in BREIT, its largest property vehicle with a net asset value of about $69 billion.

Every month since December, the private REIT has received exit requests exceeding its 2 percent monthly limit, causing the firm to defend itself for limiting redemptions, alongside other private REIT managers experiencing growing redemption requests. March was no different, with Blackstone receiving $4.5 billion of requests. To date, the firm has returned almost $5 billion from the fund, as per its April 3 notice to stockholders.

Since a bet on Blackstone is often cited as a bet on private real estate, the contrasting investor stories of BREP and BREIT should offer tell-tale signs of how investors think about the sector right now, specifically how institutional and retail investors comparably position the firm and – given its role as proxy – the market.

It would be simplistic to declare institutional money as the stickier and more sophisticated of the two capital types. But continued commitments from institutional investors to Blackstone’s BREP X, even as inflation has spiraled skywards and interest rates followed, speaks volumes. Sure, $24.2 billion was raised by Q2 2022, when rates were still at 1 percent. But to raise $6 billion in less than a year while rates were rapidly hiked to 5 percent demonstrates the firm’s – and the BREP series’ – consistent institutional support.

The feat stands in relative contrast to the redemption story at BREIT, a vehicle which has yet to generate a poor performance to justify such attrition – even if there is a controversy over the fund’s valuations. According to Blackstone, BREIT delivered net returns of 8.4 percent in 2022 and 14.7 percent over the last three years – performance numbers that would not dent the reputation of any large-scale opportunistic fund manager. In fact, the BREP series has returned net 16 percent since its inception three decades ago, the firm says.

Notably, BREIT’s most positive story since its redemption troubles began was the introduction of institutional capital in the form of $4.5 billion of equity from UC Investments. As Nadeem Meghji, Blackstone’s head of real estate Americas, told us in an interview, the investment was an opportunistic effort by the endowment of the University of California to take advantage of BREIT’s situation. It wanted in when enough retail investors wanted out.

It is worth noting the headline differences between BREP and BREIT. The former is a closed-end, higher risk and return offering used for buying undermanaged properties with significant use of leverage. It is largely unavailable to retail capital outside of certain wealth management distribution channels. The latter is an open-ended offering, used for buying stabilized assets with a greater focus on income than capital gains. It is especially for retail investors and represents Blackstone’s biggest push to democratize private real estate.

In terms of asset classes, both are dedicated to Blackstone’s top conviction bets including logistics, rental housing and data centers – trending properties types today.

Both funds have respectable performance records. Yet their contrasting stories point to how two investor groups diverge when it comes to committing capital to private real estate. While institutional capital has remained comfortable, retail money is still finding its footing in the asset class.