Tag Archives: Canada

Barclays backs private rented sector – in Ireland

Barclays Bank has advanced a EUR130m loan to fund the purchase of rental housing in Ireland. The funds have been made available to Irish Residential Properties Reit (IRES), a company floated on the Irish stock exchange in April.
IRES is backed by Canadian company Capreit, one of Canada’s largest residential landlords with more than 40,000 homes across its home the country. It raised EUR200m when it floated, and has already invested in several apartment blocks in the Dublin area, including the Marker Residences in the docks area, and Kings Court in the city centre.
IRES has said it aims to build a portfolio of 2,300 houses and apartments for rent in Ireland. “We are very proud that our lenders have shown confidence in IRES and extended a credit facility which allows the Reit to grow and achieve its investment goals,” said IRES head David Ehrlich.
Will Barclays also move into the UK rented sector in a similar way? Time will tell. The loan to IRES is secured against the company’s existing assets ie the portfolio of properties already bought with the equity raised by the April stock market listing.

Vancouver tempts rented housing providers to to deliver new supply

In an echo of the situation in the UK private rented sector marketplace, authorities in Vancouver and other Canadian municipalities are working out how to encourage the delivery of new homes for rental.

In contrast with the UK, the has a strong bedrock of private rental housing, which a range of government programmes helped to deliver in past years. However, as the subsidies and programmes dried up, so did those investors taking advantage of them. The result is too little supply in recent decades; and as Michael Geller points out in an article in the Vancouver Courier, in parts of Vancouver, “not one new purpose-built rental building has been constructed in over 40 years”.

Like the Brits, Canadians have traditionally dreamed of owning their own homes, he says: and as in the UK, this dream holds less allure for younger generations, for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, one fear in Canada is that rising prices cannot be sustained, making a home not such a great investment – this is encouraging older generations to rent, rather than buy.

Vancouver is “succeeding in its efforts to increase supply,” says Geller. The authorities are trying a range of incentives including density bonuses, parking reductions, reduced municipal fees and fast-tracking of applications.

Several of those active in the growth of the professional private rented sector have called for planning concessions to help encourage investment in the sector. If these strategies are working in Canada, are they worth considering here in the UK?

Canada’s largest resi landlord heads for Europe

CAPREIT, the largest residential landlord in Canada with more than 41,000 homes in its portfolio, is moving to expand into Europe. It already has plans to spend around EUR80 million buying a portfolio of properties in Ireland, in what could be a warm-up act for a major assault on the UK market.

The company – full name Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust – already owns a small number of apartments for rent in Dublin. Last week, it announced plans to list its Irish subsidiary IRES REIT on the Irish Stock Exchange, issuing shares in a flotation that will raise EUR200 million to spend on further residential properties for rental. The organisation will be arranged as a Real Estate Investment Trust, a structure which restricts corporate activities in return for providing tax advantages.

CAPREIT entered the Irish market in September 2013, buying 338 apartments in four Dublin locations through a portfolio purchase. Now, it is bidding for a package of around 600 homes and a number of development plots in Ireland, put up for sale by Danske Bank. The package, named Project Circle, could be sold for around EUR80 million, and has around half of its properties in the greater Dublin area, with other properties in Galway, Limerick and Cork.

“IRES REIT will be our vehicle to grow our portfolio of properties in Ireland,” said Tom Schwarz, president of CAPREIT. And chief executive officer David Ehrlich added: “We are delighted to be launching IRES REIT, which we believe will be the first Irish REIT investing primarily in multi-unit residential properties. We intend to continue building a strong Irish team, backed by CAPREIT’s extensive infrastructure and to develop a professionally managed long term apartment sector in Ireland.”

In common with the UK market, the Irish rental market is characterised by amateur landlords, with three quarters of landlords owning just one rental property. And similarly, there has been an increase in demand for renting, and for long term rental contracts. And as in the UK, not enough new homes are being delivered to meet demand.

Should its bid be successful, IRES REIT will have around 1,000 rental properties in the Irish market, making it a major landlord in a sector dominated by Dublin, where rents are typically double those charged outside. When looking to grow, it may find its desire for multi-unit blocks hampered by lack of stock, particularly outside Dublin.

However, with the scale of the Irish market bound to constrain its growth, and with the experience of an Anglo Saxon property market under its belt, how long will it be before CAPREIT makes the jump across the Irish Sea, to bring its rental property expertise into the UK and the London market? Time will tell……