Catella European Residential III Buys Assets in Four Cities Across Europe for €60 Million
Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) has acquired four standing assets in locations in, or close to, leading European cities including Brussels, Geneva and Berlin for approximately €60 million on behalf of the Catella European Residential Fund III (CER III). The deals follow a new equity raise of €125 million in April from a Dutch pension fund and German Institutional client and €55 million in August from two German institutional clients for the fund’s pan-European residential strategy which focuses on affordable housing and undersupplied sub-segments.
In Brussels, CER III has bought a residential building dating from 2005 comprising 65 modern apartments and 70 indoor parking spaces for approximately €25 million. Most of the apartments are let and range in size from 41 to 173 sqm. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place at the end of August.
Patrick Au Yeung, Fund Manager for the Catella European Residential Fund III, said: “We are pleased our fund continued to attract new capital during the Covid-19 lockdown and we expect the strong interest from institutional investors will continue. Brussels is one of the key targets for our European residential strategy due to its importance as a financial centre and the capital of the European Union. The inner-city residential market in Brussels consists of a great diversity of old and new apartments. We expect the complex we have acquired will be very attractive to expats, diplomats and employees of international corporations, many of whom prefer to live close to their work in the city centre where the cost of living is still affordable compared to other big European cities.”
Brussels is home to 210 foreign embassies and consulates and many international companies are also headquartered in the city. The property is situated on Rue Godecharle in the Leopold Quarter where the European Commission and European Parliament are located. The Leopold district has excellent public transportation connections and is also easily accessible by car.
The other three assets acquired by CER III are located in the French border town of Ornex, just nine kms from Geneva, and also in Berlin and Potsdam.
Ornex is a popular residential choice for French and expat workers employed by NGOs in Geneva and boasts a number of schools as well as a wide range of shopping amenities. The French border town enjoys strong population growth thanks to good employment prospects in nearby Geneva. Over the last five years, the number of residents living in the town has risen by at least 15% and the French National Institute of Statistics (INSEE) is forecasting further growth in the future, with a projected average increase of 1.2% annually until 2025. As most inhabitants work in Geneva, the unemployment rate is low compared with the French average, while per capita household income by far exceeds the average national rate due to the fact that average salaries in Switzerland are about four times higher than they are in France.
Xavier Jongen, Managing Director CRIM added: “Geneva suffers from a huge shortage of housing which continues to drive up the prices of owner-occupied homes as well as rental levels. This phenomenon has pushed many local Swiss as well people of other nationalities working in Geneva to the French side of the nearby border. The property we have acquired in Ornex represents an excellent opportunity to tap into the sustained demand in the region for affordable suburban rental housing.”
In Potsdam, the capital of the federal state of Brandenburg located to the southwest of Berlin, CER III has acquired two existing properties in the Gartenstraße in the Babelsberg district for around €10 million. One of the buildings dates from 1911 and was extensively refurbished in the last 10 years. The other property is relatively new and was built in 2014. Both assets have basements and comprise a total floor area of 2,607 sqm divided over 27 apartments and two small commercial units. The apartment blocks are located in an urban area characterised by detached, semi-detached and multi-family houses, and commercial buildings, some of which have recently been converted into housing. Potsdam is one of the core cities of the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region which has a total population of around six million. The city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 and is gaining ground as a movie location for international film projects.
Patrick Au Yeung, said: “Potsdam is a prestigious academic centre with several universities and numerous research institutes. The demand for affordable housing is expected to remain robust due to the city’s close proximity to Berlin.”
In Berlin, CER III has acquired a recently renovated residential building from a local project developer of residential condominiums for €3.2 million. Also dating from 1911, the property is located in the Berlin district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf. Berlin Alexanderplatz can be reached in 25 minutes by the S-Bahn railway line. The good transport connections to Berlin’s city centre makes the asset particularly interesting for couples and young professionals. The complex consists of 10 residential units covering a total surface area of 989 sqm over two buildings, with an average size of 99 sqm per apartment. The landscaped inner courtyard has a playground and four parking spaces.
CBRE Capital Advisors acts as placement agent for Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH in jurisdictions outside Germany.
About Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH (CRIM)
Catella launched its first European residential fund in 2007 with a volume of more than €1 billion and it has since achieved an average net return for investors of 8.5% per year until the end of Q2 2020. The team also launched the first dedicated European Student Housing Fund in 2013.
CRIM is a subsidiary of the Stockholm-based Catella AB group and its residential real estate business comprises portfolio management, acquisitions, sales and asset management. CRIM manages and advises several funds and mandates and has assets under management of over €4 billion across 10 European countries.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2019 revenue). The company has more than 100,000 employees (excluding affiliates) and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 530 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.