Emerging multifamily markets gain traction with growing range of investors

Opportunities for large-scale investment in residential apartments have been confined to select countries for decades.

But competition now has investors hunting for multifamily real estate beyond more established build-to-rent markets.
German investment manager DWS is investing €42.4 million in a new development in Madrid, its first residential acquisition in Spain.

In France, both M&G Real Estate and PGIM Real Estate have closed deals this year, respectively investing €85.3 million and €84 million in and around the Paris region. Poland and Italy are also seeing an uptick in activity.

“There’s been a broader shift in allocations towards multifamily deals for diversified funds over recent years as the market has become more institutionalized,” says Gemma Kendall, head of multifamily investment, EMEA Capital Markets at JLL. “That has only served to heighten competition among investors recently in more crowded, established markets – and brought less explored locations into focus.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in residential has remained robust – and in some cases risen, with the amount of capital that the sector attracted up 10 percent to €83.4 billion (US$ 101.8 billion) in Europe alone last year, according to JLL data. In Australia, U.S. residential giant Greystar has raised AU$1.3 billion (US$1.01 billion) for its Greystar Australia Multifamily Venture Fund 1. Its aim is to reach AU$5 billion in projects across the country.

Capital spreads

The U.S. is far and away the biggest, most established multifamily market, with individual investors owning tens of thousands of apartments. In Europe, the more mature markets include the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, while the UK has been rising in the ranks, too.
But nearly two-thirds of respondents to JLL’s latest European Living Investor Survey are looking to expand to at least one additional market as institutional appetite for less-established markets grows. Some 11 European countries have received over €2 billion worth of investment over the past 24 months, according to JLL data.
Across the pond, a European institutional investor was recently helped in their quest for U.S. multifamily investments by Round Hill Capital, while Morgan Properties’ US$1.75 billion acquisition of 48 assets gave the investor entry to five new U.S. states.

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