Sunday 8 December 2019

Cairn sells 150 homes in Kildare to cuckoo fund for €53.5m

The private rental market is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland. Stock Image: Bloomberg
The private rental market is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland. Stock Image: Bloomberg
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Listed house builder Cairn Homes has sold 150 private rental units in Mariavilla, Maynooth, county Kildare to institutional investor Urbeo for €53.3m.

The 150 new homes are made up of apartments, duplexes and houses, and are being delivered on a phased basis from next month.

The build-to-rent market is becoming increasingly popular here as institutional investors, dubbed cuckoo funds, radically change Ireland's traditional housing market by buying or building entire blocks of accommodation to be rented long-term.

Cuckoo funds are so-called as they are seen as elbowing in and pushing first-time buyers out of the market.

Richard Ball, partner at Urbeo, said: "This is another significant acquisition as we implement our strategy to deliver quality rental housing projects in well-serviced locations with good connectivity to employment centres.

We remain ambitious to expand through further acquisitions and forward purchase agreements, and have a deep pipeline of exclusive deals with high quality partners like Cairn."

Cairn's Mariavilla project currently consists of two individual development areas under construction - 230 homes at Lyreen Valley, where the first phase of 80 homes are sold out to individual homeowners and the next phase will be launched in Spring next year.

And the 150 homes on the Moyglare Road, which is the area of the development designed for the private rental sector being acquired by Urbeo.

Urbeo is an affiliate of US investment giant Starwood Capital. Last year it formed a €1bn build-to-rent residential platform in Ireland.

In August Cairn sold 282 apartments at The Quarter in Citywest to Urbeo for €94m.

Meanwhile, Cairn has also acquired 97 acres of development land at Clonburris Strategic Development Zone in Dublin 22, in two separate transactions from the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and O'Callaghan Properties.

Cairn spent a total of €21.5m on the two acquisitions.

Cairn already owns an adjacent 174 acres of development land within the Clonburris development zone. Its development land there will consist of over 5,000 new homes.

Michael Stanley, co-founder and CEO of Cairn, said he looked forward “to partnering with public and private stakeholders to facilitate the delivery of over 5,000 competitively priced and affordable new homes with associated critical infrastructure.”

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