A number of private real estate investment funds are attempting to raise billions of dollars to invest in Latin American real estate, research firm Preqin says in a new report.  

In 2012 alone, funds focused on Latin America represented 5% of all aggregate capital secured by real estate funds in this space, up from just 2% in 2007.

Domestic firms are starting to jump into the act, but funds based in Latin America still accounted for 52% of all capital raised in the segment during the years 2011 to 2012. That figure is up significantly from 17% in the years 2009-2010, according to Preqin.

And apparently, Brazil is a sizzling when it comes to real estate investment.

Seventeen Brazil-focused funds raised $6.4 billion in the years 2009 through 2013, representing most of the $9.3 billion raised by all funds focused on Latin America real estate.

The big players include PLA Residential Fund III, managed by Pramerica Real Estate Investors. This fund alone secured $869 million in investor capital between the years 2008 through 2013.

Seven Brazil-focused real estate funds also are trying to raise $2.5 billion, representing 66% of total capital sought by all funds currently in the space.

Five Columbia-focused funds are hunting for $600 million in investor commitments, Preqin noted.

The two largest funds in the space include the TFI-Hines Brazil Income Real Estate Fund and the Tishman Speyer Brazil Fund III -- both of which are seeking $500 million.