Dublin, 1st April 2022 – Healthy Q1 investment volumes with PBSA assets back in vouge
Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) is back in vogue for investors post the pandemic. The largest investment sale of Q1 was Project Ruby, the sale of three student accommodation blocks in Dublin (Blackhall Place & Cork Street) and Galway (Fairgreen Road). The sale price of the transaction was €145 million. This comes after the €120 million sale of Project Lighthouse in Q4 2021, where a portfolio of 576 student beds across Dublin 7 and Dublin 8 sold for €120 million. These transactions have seen new benchmark pricing reached in the sector and solidifies the renewed investor confidence in student accommodation in the aftermath of the pandemic. The high proportion of international students coming to study in Dublin, alongside the domestic demand for purpose built student rental housing has seen institutional investors attracted back to the sector and underpins the increased demand emerging for operational real estate assets domestically and across Europe.
Overall Irish commercial real estate investment volumes for the quarter were a healthy €750 million, with a spread of large ticket deals across sectors. The industrial and logistics sector continued its remarkable rise with the completion of the forward funding transaction of the 595,000 sq. ft Primark Distribution Centre in Newbridge Co. Kildare for €128.7 million. While the other notable transaction in the quarter was the sale of Point Square in Dublin 1, the mixed-use office and retail scheme traded at a sale price of €85 million to a domestic purchaser.
According to Colin Richardson, Associate Director in CBRE’s research team, “overall the healthy volume of investment trades in Q1 sees the positive momentum experienced in the Irish investment market through 2021 continue into 2022. The demand for opportunities remains strong, particularly in the current inflationary environment. The sale of the assets of Hibernia REIT to Canadian investor Brookfield will provide a further boost to investment spend later in the year when this transaction completes. While a number of on and off market processes that are currently ongoing implies that 2022 will be another healthy year of investment sales as we enter into a new interest rate environment”..