Residential: Four needle-moving deals

A closer look at four major transactions in the space from around the world – and why they matter.

China: GIC commits to emerging rental market

Deal: GIC partners with NOVA to establish a rental platform

When: May 2018

Buyer: GIC

Seller: Nova

Value: 4.3bn yuan ($680m; €570m)

Why it matters: The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund has made one of its biggest commitments to the emerging rental housing sector in China through a joint venture with a Warburg Pincus-backed Shanghai-headquartered investment manager. The transaction, to be completed in the third quarter of 2018, also sees GIC acquiring a minority stake in NOVA. According to Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer of GIC Real Estate, there is demand for rental housing in China driven by changing demographic trends and cultural shifts toward city-living, but a limited supply of quality institutionally-owned and professionally managed projects.

US: GIC and CPPIB expand student housing

Deal: $1.1bn sale of 22 student housing properties

When: January 2018

Buyer: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board/GIC

Seller: Harrison Street Real Estate Capital

Value: $1.1bn

Why it matters: CPPIB and GIC continued to expand their US student housing platform with the purchase of 22 properties. The portfolio, which Harrison Street amassed over seven years through five different funds, comprised 12,000 beds. In January 2016, CPPIB and GIC formed a joint venture, Scion Student Communities, with Chicago-based Scion Group to enter the US student housing market. After the January deal, the JV’s portfolio comprised 73 assets in 52 markets with 46,555 beds, making it the country’s largest student housing owner.

Latin America: Hines goes micro Brazil

Deal: Hines, Vitacon Incorporadora e Constructora micro-living JV

When: September 2017

Value: Not disclosed

Why it matters: Hines is thinking small in São Paulo. The Houston-based private real estate firm and local development partner Vitacon Incorporadora e Construtora are building a “smart” apartment building with 100-square-foot units in the upscale Higienopolis neighbourhood. Latin America has not been a major target for micro-living in the past because more multi-generational families live together, compared with cities in much of Europe. Land costs are also typically lower than in Asia, where the concept has gained popularity.


US: Rockpoint buys affordable housing

Deal: $905m sale of New York’s Starrett City

When: May 2018

Buyer: Rockpoint Group, Brooksville Company

Seller: Starrett City Associates

Value: $905m

Why it matters: Rockpoint’s JV purchase of a 46-property affordable housing complex in Brooklyn marks the biggest single-asset residential sale in the US in the last two years. The deal was also politically sensitive, since President Donald Trump owned a 4 percent stake in the 5,900-unit complex. Rockpoint’s JV partner, Brooksville Company, is led by Andrew MacArthur, known in New York real estate for leading the $5.3 billion sale of Stuyvesant Town in 2015.