700 ex-Airbnb units added to rental market - Ires Reit

Real estate: Ires CEO Margaret Sweeney targets growth with new buys

Ellie Donnelly

Ires Reit’s positon in the middle of the Dublin rental market means it is experiencing “very strong demand” for its properties, chief executive Margaret Sweeney told the Irish Independent yesterday.

Ms Sweeney was speaking yesterday after the real estate company struck a €60m deal to buy residential property near to Phoenix Park.

“We are very lucky, we are positioned mid-tier in the market, there has been more softening in the high-end in city centre,” Ms Sweeney said.

Ires apartment blocks range from the Marker apartments at Grand Canal Square in the Dublin docks and the Elm Park development close to RTÉ in Dublin 4, to modern developments in Tallaght, Finglas and Inchicore. Its average monthly rent was €1,596 in 2019.

The fall-off in tourism this year due to the pandemic has seen around 700 Airbnb units come onto the market, boosting supply, however, “this didn’t make a big difference in absolute terms because there is so much demand,” Ms Sweeney said.

Ires is Ireland’s biggest private landlord and it owns almost 3,700 residential units.

So far it has not seen any real impact on residential property rent from Covid-19.

The main area that has been affected is in the area of small retail and commercial lettings, according to Ms Sweeney.

These have been “significantly” impacted, she said, and Ires has put deferred payment plans in place with the affected tenants.

About 3pc of Ires’ rental income comes from commercial lettings, and out of this, just over a quarter of tenants have seens a financial impact from the been impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms Sweeney said.

The real estate company has agreed to purchase 146 residential units located in The Phoenix Park Racecourse, Castleknock, Dublin 15 from Flynn & O'Flaherty Construction.

Ires is paying €60m for the properties.

The acquisition, which Ires expects to complete next month, will be funded from the company's existing credit facility.

The residential units being purchased by the Dublin-listed firm include a mix of apartments, duplex units, penthouses and houses, according to a the company.

In all, there are 20 one bed units, 113 two bed units, and 13 three-bedroom properties.

Out of the 146 homes, 137 are leased with nine immediately available for lease.

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