The Catella residential investment platform has made its first foray into the Belgian market after closing on the acquisition of an apartment building in the heart of Brussels for €25m. Dating from 2005, the complex comprises 65 luxury furnished apartments and 70 indoor parking spaces. Most of the apartments are let and range in size from 41 to 173m². The deal follows a new equity raise of €125m in April and €25m in July from a German insurance company.
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 a key target for our European residential strategy due to its importance as a financial centre and the capital of the European Union. The residential market consists primarily of apartments and we expect the complex we have acquired will attract 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 very affordable compared to other big European cities.”
Ralph Willems, Acquisition Manager for CIMB, added: “The institutional rental market for housing in Belgium is still quite small compared to the neighbouring countries of Germany and the Netherlands, but investors have great interest. We would like to explore further opportunities in attractive urban locations across the country such as Brussels and Antwerp, as well as in smaller cities such as Ghent, Bruges and Leuven. We mainly focus on affordable rental properties and sub-segments of the residential market where there is a scarcity of supply, such as housing for students and seniors.”