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Cushman & Wakefield Advises on Landmark Student Accommodation Deal in Dublin

  • Acted for Invesco Real Estate in its acquisition of The Brickworks, a forward funded purpose-built development  
  • Deal is believed to be the first of its kind in Ireland

Cushman & Wakefield has advised Invesco Real Estate (Invesco), the global real estate investment manager, on the acquisition of The Brickworks, a forward funded, Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) development in Dublin, Ireland for €47m from Bain Capital. 

The transaction represents the first transaction in Ireland for Cushman & Wakefield’s newly-incorporated pan-European Student Accommodation Investment and Advisory team. The team, which recruited three investment principals from GSA’s EMEA business in December, provides specialist PBSA investment advice across Europe.

The Brickworks is situated within Dublin 8, a location offering good access to several higher education institutions and developing into a new student housing hub in Dublin, with convenient transport to the city centre. The development, expected to be completed in July 2019, will comprise 276 student rooms along with amenties including an onsite gym, common room areas, roof terrace social space, cycle storage and a laundry area. 

George Dyer, Partner in Cushman & Wakefield’s Student Accommodation Investment and Advisory team, who advised Invesco on the transaction, said: “We were delighted to support Invesco on this landmark deal, the first of its kind in Ireland, which will introduce high-quality new accommodation into a market with a supply-demand imbalance. Across Europe, supportive demographic trends have amplified competition and activity in the student accommodation sector which has developed to become a key component of real estate investor allocations.

Alicia Edgar, Associate Director – Transactions at Invesco, commented: “We are very excited about this prosperous student housing project; it further grows our operational real estate programme in Europe, which is now at €1.8bn, and enables us to diversify into both student housing and the Irish market. Dublin is the largest student destination in Ireland, and specifically for international students looking to study in Europe. With a significant undersupply of student beds, supportive demographics and a resurgent economy in Dublin, the investment offers an attractive opportunity to enter this market.”

Cushman & Wakefield research revealed European student accommodation transactions rose by 29% year-on-year to some €13.6 billion in 2017, driven by rising demand for global Higher Education and institutional capital targeting the sector.

Dublin is the largest student destination in Ireland and a key destination for international students looking to study in Europe. Cushman & Wakefield research estimates that there are approximately 11,340 bed spaces currently in the Dublin PBSA market. Excluding student population originating from Dublin and therefore likely to live at home during their studies, Cushman & Wakefield research published earlier in the year highlighted a 4:1 student to bed ratio, reflecting the depth of the supply demand imbalance. Private PBSA providers account for just over a third of existing stock but account for 60% of bed spaces in the development pipeline. 

The asset was acquired from Bain Capital, who developed The Brickworks project with Carrowmore Property.