Nama secures €14.5m from sale of Dublin apartments to European investor

LRC Group acquires 54 rental apartments at Prospect Hill development in Finglas

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has moved to take advantage once again of the demand from international investors for opportunities in Dublin's private rental sector with the sale of 54 apartments in Finglas for about €14.5 million.

While the agent handling the sale of the Prospect Hill portfolio did not identify the purchaser, The Irish Times understands from market sources that European property firm the LRC Group secured the units in the face of competitive bidding involving a range of parties. Colliers had offered the portfolio to the market last June on the instruction of receivers David O’Connor and Allan Sweeney of BDO.

The news of LRC’s latest deal follows last week’s report of its €3.1 million purchase of 16 apartments at the Station Point scheme in Clongriffin, Dublin 13. The company’s return to the acquisitions trail comes less than a year on from its instruction to Eastdil Secured to gauge interest among potential buyers for its entire Irish residential portfolio. LRC had been looking to secure up to €1 billion for the 1,700 rental properties it owns across Dublin, Cork and Galway.

Its most significant transaction here took place in April 2019, and saw it pay about €150 million to acquire 600 mainly residential assets across the three cities from Oaktree affiliate Targeted Investment Opportunities (TIO).

In the case of Prospect Hill in Finglas, the firm has taken ownership of 54 units consisting of 49 two-bedroom apartments – 30 of which are duplex – and five one-bedroom apartments distributed across five blocks at the scheme. Each apartment has at least one parking space at basement level, while 18 apartments have the benefit of two spaces.

Monthly rent

The subject portfolio is currently under-rented with just 26 of the units fully-occupied at an average monthly rent of €1,200, which is relatively low when compared to the rents being achieved across the capital at present.

The remaining 28 units are vacant and ready for occupancy, and 26 of these can be let at full-market rent as they have not been let previously. Market rents are in the region of €1,700 a month for a two-bed and €1,500 for a one-bed. At the time of the sale Colliers estimated the portfolio will have a market rental value of about €1.092 million once it is fully let.

The sale also included an opportunity to provide eight additional apartments, as planning permission has been granted to convert six retail units and a medical unit into five two-bed apartments, two one-bed, and one three-bed. The retail and medical units are completed to shell-and-core finish.

The wider Prospect Hill development comprises a total of 479 apartments across nine blocks, ranging in height from three to eight storeys, above basement car parking.

Prospect Hill is well located just 5.6km north of Dublin city centre, 3.9km from Exit 5 of the M50 motorway, 3.7km from DCU (Dublin City University) and 9.8km from Dublin Airport.