Round Hill Capital and SFO Capital Partners’ joint venture completes first deal to acquire SFR Scheme in Dublin

Round Hill Capital and SFO Capital Partners have today announced the acquisition of Bay Meadows, a new suburban family home development in Dublin, Ireland. Upon completion, the scheme will provide 112 new, high-quality suburban family homes to rent. The transaction is the first for the newly formed joint venture (the “Venture”), established last month.

Situated in Dublin 15, Bay Meadows will provide a mix of two to four-bedroom homes, that have been specifically designed for the needs of contemporary living. The houses are close to primary and secondary schools as well as to the Northwest/Ballycoolin Business Park; home to major international employers such as eBay, IBM, Paypal and Xerox. In addition, they are also within easy reach of Blanchardstown Shopping centre, Phoenix Park, the M50 motorway, Dublin City Centre as well as the airport.

Construction is already underway, and the development will be handed over in six phases, with the first completing this month in May 2021, and the final phase, in early 2022. A show home is now open for viewings on the site, with the 112 homes already available for reservation.

The transaction is further evidenced by the strong appeal of the Irish build-to-rent sector for institutional capital attracted by its resilient, long-term yields, and is reflective of the wider growth of the PRS investment market in Ireland over the past three years. The Venture plans to build on this first deal over the coming years to expand its housing strategy across Ireland.

Bay Meadows will supply much-needed new homes into the market, which responds to strong demand in this location. Multinational companies taking residence in Dublin have driven both economic and population growth; driving demand for new homes for employees attracted to the city. Yet, only c. 21,000 dwellings were constructed across Ireland in 2019, far below the estimated 35,000 new homes needed per annum*.

Designed by Reddy Architecture, residents at Bay Meadows will benefit from spacious homes designed for the needs of families, including quality fitted kitchens, guest WC, en-suite bathrooms and built-in wardrobes in all homes.

Leading property specialists, Dillion Marshall, have been appointed as the property management partner.

Michael Bickford, Founder and CEO at Round Hill Capital, said: “We are excited to announce the new Joint Venture with SFO Capital Partners in the SFR market in Ireland.

“The counter-cyclical nature of the rental housing market means it is resilient to market cycles, as has been proven amid the economic uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, this transaction is yet further evidence of the strong appeal of the Irish build-to-rent sector for institutional capital, attracted by its resilient, long-term yields as well as the wider growth of the PRS investment market in Ireland over the past three years.

“We look forward to building on the first success of this venture to further expand our portfolio across Ireland.”

Mohamad Abouchalbak, CEO at SFO Capital Partners, said: “We are pleased to have completed our first investment under our Irish SFR strategy in partnership with Round Hill Capital. Bay Meadows is a unique housing community in Dublin offering high specification units that are in-line with post-COVID 19 demands for spacious yet well connected homes. In that sense, the Venture will continue to invest in the Irish residential market to bridge the critical housing need and cater for the influx of high-skilled workers in Dublin.

“We look forward to growing our footprint in Ireland and to further expand our residential investment strategy across Europe. This transaction demonstrates our ability to source, secure and manage high quality assets in dynamic markets.”

John Vaudin, Managing Director at Round Hill Capital (Ireland), said:  “We’re delighted to complete another significant deal in the Irish build-to-rent sector, marking the third BTR accommodation deal for Round Hill Capital in Ireland since 2018.

“Bay Meadows will provide much needed, well located homes into the rental market and will contribute to addressing the supply / demand imbalance that continues to prevail in the Irish residential market. Skilled employees are attracted to Dublin 15 and this development presents a significant first mover opportunity to enter the growing SFR market.

“We have a strong pipeline in place to meet demand from institutional investors, and a trusted partner with a strong track record in successfully investing in, developing and operating residential assets.”

*Property Industry Ireland