US investor Heitman buys 200 apartments in Dublin

Chicago-based property group says it was attracted by capital’s housing squeeze

A property in Dublin acquired by US-based investor Heitman

A property in Dublin acquired by US-based investor Heitman

 

US property investor Heitman has bought more than 200 apartments in Dublin as it bids to cash in on the city’s housing squeeze.

Heitman, which handles $44 billion in assets for its clients, confirmed yesterday that it had acquired 214 apartments and three shops in Dublin.

The Chicago-based company said the properties included bedsits, and one- and two-bedroom homes, spread across 27 buildings in locations close to central Dublin.

Tony Smedley, Heitman’s managing director and head of European private equity, indicated that the squeeze on accommodation here helped prompt the purchase.

He noted that as a result, Heitman stood to “benefit from the combination of limited residential deliveries in the market and continued demand for housing in Dublin”.

Many of the apartments are in traditional “flatland” areas of the city, including Rathmines, Ranelagh and the South Circular Road.

Other neighbourhoods include Broadstone, Clontarf and Rathgar. All of the flats are let to tenants.

Unnamed seller

Heitman did not name the seller. Sources indicated that the properties were originally security for buy-to-let mortgages that were sold after the borrowers fell behind with repayments during the financial crash.

German lender Deutsche Bank was one of several institutions that bought buy-to-let home loans, but it was not possible to confirm that it was the vendor.

Most of the homes are in refurbished and subdivided buildings that are popular with private landlords in the city.

Mr Smedley noted that Dublin had changed over the past 10 years, attracting multinational businesses and young professionals.

“Being such an important growth city in Europe, we are delighted to add these residential assets to our portfolio,” he said.

Heitman manages assets for banks, pension funds, companies and individuals from North America, Europe and Asia.

It buys properties, real estate-related debt and shares in publicly traded property companies. It employs 325 staff and has been in business since 1966.