German investor pays €42m for Malahide Road apartments

Ninety-three homes acquired by Real IS at 331-unit development to be leased by Dublin City Council for social housing

German investor Real IS AG has made its fifth investment in Ireland’s residential property market, paying the Gem Group €42 million for 93 apartments on Dublin’s Malahide Road.

While the portfolio and the three commercial units associated with it forms part of a scheme of 331 units the Irish builder is developing for the private rented sector (PRS) market, the apartments acquired by Real IS AG’s Modern Living fund will be used for social housing following the agreement of a 25-year lease with Dublin City Council.

Due for completion in the final quarter of 2023, the wider Malahide Road development will comprise a mix of apartments and duplexes distributed across two blocks of eight and 10 storeys respectively. The scheme will also feature a range of onsite amenities including a creche, gym, retail and cafe units, open greens and play areas.

Commenting on his company’s latest Irish acquisition, Axel Schulz, global head of investment at Real IS AG said: “Ireland, and in particular Dublin as the country’s economic motor, has provided itself to be extremely crisis-resilient in the past two years, which makes the property on Malahide Road another attractive investment for our ‘Modern Living’ fund.”

Agent Hooke & MacDonald handled the sale of the portfolio while Ogier Leman provided the vendor with legal advice on the transaction. Real IS, for its part, was advised on the legal and tax aspects of the purchase by William Fry and KPMG while Watts acted as the technical consultant for the deal.

News of the German investor’s purchase of the 93 Malahide Road units comes just seven months on from the acquisition by another of its funds of 72 high-end homes developed by US-owned Bain Capital and its partners Regency Homes at the exclusive Knockrabo scheme on Mount Anville Road in south Dublin.

While the deal for the Knockrabo portfolio represented the Wohnen I fund’s first acquisition outside Germany, Real IS has been active in the Irish property market for three years now.

In early 2021, it paid Glenveagh Properties about €60 million to secure ownership of more than 100 apartments at the publicly listed builder’s Marina Village scheme in Greystones, Co Wicklow.

In October 2019 the German-headquartered fund made its first acquisition in Dublin with an agreement to pay €46 million for 56 private rented sector apartments developed at Ropemaker Place in the city’s south docklands by Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group.

Its second deal took place just over one month later, when it paid more than €55 million to secure ownership of 87 high-end apartments Glenveagh was developing at its Herbert Hill scheme next to Dundrum Town Centre in south Dublin. Those units are the subject of a long-term lease with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for use as social housing.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times