AN overseas investment fund, as yet unconfirmed, is the buyer of the c€30 million residential-led investment sale of the City Square development, in Cork City’s Blackpool, which has a weekly income of €40,000, or c €2m per annum.
The mixed-use development on a three-acre site on the Watercourse Road enjoys the bulk of its income from its
145 apartments, some €1.816m, and that’s topped up by €177,000 extra in commercial unit income.
The deal on the Frinailla-developed €450m scheme in the early to mid 2000s, for receivers Grant Thornton acting for a fund who acquired it as part of a loan sale, was handled by Isobel O’Regan of Savills, Cork.
She declined at present to identify the purchasers, but she did confirm the property was now in its new owners’ hands.
News of the closing of the sale came as a report by Hooke & MacDonald in Dublin suggests that residential investment has overtaken all other sectors in Dublin, for the first time ever at 42% of Q2 deals in the capital, when almost €300m changed hands.
The sums netted there in the last quarter, €294m, came primarily from eight substantial block purchases, one of them of 262 apartments at Churchtown’s Fernbank for €120 million, bought by Irish Life, and 90% of the units were build-to-let.
Hooke & MacDonald’s Irish market findings chimes with the comments of Goodbody research analyst Colm Lauder, who observes that residential investment has grown as a percentage of transactions across the UK, US and Europe.
That evidence is clear too in Ireland, outside of Dublin, given the scale of sales such as the Elysian, to Kennedy Wilson for €87.5m, with its €5m annual income stream and 5% yield predominantly from 210 apartments.
The return on the c €28m-plus City Square in Cork’s Blackpool is understood to be under 5%, and the buyer is a low-key overseas fund, facing competition in the purchase from other better known investment funds and firms.
Also selling, less publicly as multi-unit residential investments in Cork have been developments at Boreenmanna Road, at Bachelors Quay, and currently understood to be transacting, the Kenny Group-developed Park Avenue, on the South Douglas Road.
Meanwhile, also at the upper end of the price scale, and understood to be progressing positively is the €30m plus sale of 165 apartments via Savills and Lisney in Cork’s Ballincollig, comprising significant portions of the Crescent and Quadrants apartment blocks in the Ballincollig Town Square development, built by O’Flynn Construction and being sold by Blackstone.