Student accommodation is big business in Dublin

And international firms are eyeing the Irish market...

UCD, Revenge Porn, Marcus O'Halloran

UCD's Belfield campus [Facebook]

US property developer and investor, Hines, which is either building or acquiring a whole range of residential and commercial properties around Dublin, has acquired four major sites in the city centre, which will provide 1,500 student bedrooms.

The overall value of the four developments is understood to be about €240m.

The four sites comprise of a fully finished building near the Guinness brewery which is already let to students of Trinity College; two sites under development on Dorset Street and Gardiner Street in the north inner city, close to Trinity and the new DIT campus in Grangegorman and a site that has yet to obtain planning approval on Cork Street in the Liberties in central Dublin.

The seller in each case is Three Sixty Developments, a subsidiary of the Investment firm, Oaktree Capital.

Estate agents, JLL acted on behalf of the sellers - its chief executive John Moran spoke to Breakfast Business about the surge in interest in student accommodation.

"There's simply a massive shortage of supply" he explained - adding that there is currently demand for 57,000 beds - and that this figure will grow to 68,000 by 2024 - but only 12% have access to purpose-built student accommodation.

He also highlighted the effect that 2014 regulations which took bedsits off of the market has had on the market.

Mr Moran believes that interest in recent opportunities suggests that there are a host of international firms who want to get into the Irish market:

"For the bid process on this portfolio there were seven other bids in addition to Hines - so that's seven other parties out there who obviously believe in Dublin and Ireland as a student housing location. I see no reason why high caliber institutions and landlords combined with good operators will not try to enter the market."