LRC Group pays €9m for Swords apartment portfolio

Acquisition of 47 units at Applewood brings LRC’s Irish holding to over 1,600 buy-to-lets

The portfolio’s 47 apartments are distributed between Chestnut House (pictured) and Bramley Terrace

The portfolio’s 47 apartments are distributed between Chestnut House (pictured) and Bramley Terrace

 

The European property firm, LRC group, has increased the size of its Irish residential portfolio to over 1,600 properties, with the acquisition for €9 million of 47 apartments and one retail unit at Applewood in Swords, Co Dublin.

The amount paid by LRC represents a premium of 20 per cent on the €7.5 million price agent Hooke & MacDonald had been guiding when it brought the portfolio to the market on behalf of Gannon Properties last September. The final sale price equates to €187,500 per unit and a gross yield of 8 per cent based on the overall rental income for the portfolio once it is fully let. Hooke & MacDonald estimates the total current rent, and projected rent of the vacant apartments, to be in the region of €724,000 a year.

The residential element of the Applewood portfolio comprises six one-bedroom apartments (average 50sq m) and 41 two-bedroom apartments (average 80sq m). The apartments are finished to a good standard, each with a good-sized balcony and one car parking space. The self-contained retail unit (85sq m) is located within the busy Applewood Village commercial centre with ample customer parking to both front and rear.

Developed by Gannon Properties 15 years ago, Applewood is located 1.8km northwest of Swords town centre and the Pavilions Shopping Centre. Airside Retail Park is 2.8km to the southeast, while Malahide village is 5.5km away.

Applewood has consistently proven itself to be a strong letting location due to its close proximity to Swords village, Dublin Airport, the M1 motorway and Dublin city centre.

LRC’s acquisition of the Applewood portfolio brings its overall Irish holding to nearly 1,700 buy-to-let apartments and houses.

The company’s most significant transaction here took place in April 2019, and saw LRC pay about €150 million to acquire 600 mainly-residential assets across Dublin, cork and Galway from Oaktree affiliate, Targeted Investment Opportunities (TIO).

Smithfield

LRC’s last reported deal in the Irish residential market was in February 2018 when the company fended off six other bidders to acquire a mixed-use investment at Smithfield Lofts on North King Street in Dublin for just over €10 million. The figure represented a premium of €750,000 on the €9.5 million guide price set by agent Hooke & MacDonald when it brought the properties to the market in November 2016.

Smithfield Lofts is a five-storey-over-basement building containing 57 apartments, six two-storey townhouses and commercial units. LRC acquired 44 of the apartments, six townhouses and 33 car-parking spaces. The other 13 apartments and commercial units remained in private ownership.

Outside of its expanding stake in Ireland’s private rented sector market, LRC has a significant interest in the country’s hospitality sector.

In 2018, the company acquired the Irish-led hotel investment and management company, Amaris Hospitality, from US private equity firm, Lone Star in a deal valued at £600 million (€678.5 million).

Established in 1995 by Israeli investor Yehuda Barashi, the wider LRC Group has grown its presence across Europe to the point where it now has more than €5 billion of residential and commercial assets under management.