Japan’s 38 publicly traded real estate investment trusts more than doubled the purchase of property in the first quarter as credit conditions eased, a research firm said.

Acquisitions totaled 229 billion yen ($2.45bn) in the three months ended yesterday, compared with 108 billion yen a year earlier, according to data provided by IB Research and Consulting Inc. Thirty-nine properties were bought, the most since the third quarter of 2008 when the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. froze global credit markets.

“We are expecting this recovery trend to continue,” Daisuke Seki, chief executive officer of the Tokyo-based firm, said in an e-mail. “The pick-up in the fundraising environment has helped.”