Institutions back Aberdeen’s €1bn German housing fund

Company raises €115m to kick off second spezialfond, targeting city flats

Aberdeen Asset Management has launched a potential €1bn core fund for the increasing number of investors interested in German housing.

Aberdeen started Städte und Wohnen with €115m of capital from four investors and has contracted to buy six assets.

Senior Aberdeen analyst Stephan Schanz said the fund was seeking developments and refurbishments in the strongest areas of Germany’s top 80 towns and cities.

It will take on 30%-40% gearing and is particularly targeting energy-efficient schemes that attract cheap finance from domestic banks.

Fund manager Daniel Dreyer has bought 350 rented flats in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Karlsruhe; 120 flats in Heidelberg; and a 100-apartment scheme in Munich.

Städte und Wohnen is a spezialfond and is Aberdeen’s second residential product. Its first residential spezialfond invests for a single investor and has so far spent €120m.

The new fund’s target return is 4-5% net. Schanz said: “Investors like housing because the interest from government bonds is so low, even negative.”

Dr Hartmut Leser, Aberdeen’s head of distribution for Germany and Austria, said: “Our efforts to focus our German investment firm more strongly on institutional products are progressing better than expected.

“Städte and Wohnen is the third fund launched by Aberdeen in Germany since 2010.” The other is Aberdeen’s Pan- European Core Property Fund, which invests in commercial real estate in Germany, France, the Nordics and Benelux.

In the housing sector, Aberdeen also raised €115m of equity from 10 “medium-sized” institutions for a Swedish core fund earlier in the summer.

German rented housing has been one of Europe’s most active markets in the past 12 months with investors targeting core through to distressed assets.