HomeBussinessIres Reit points to ‘exceptional demand’ as occupancy levels reach 99.5pc

Ires Reit points to ‘exceptional demand’ as occupancy levels reach 99.5pc


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In a trading update ahead of the company’s AGM today, Ires said that the decline followed the impact of asset disposals in the second half of 2023. It added that the proceeds from the disposals were used to repay higher cost debt.

Occupancy levels rose to 99.5pc in the first quarter of 2024, up from 99.4pc at end of 2023.

The Dublin-listed firm, which has a portfolio of 3,734 apartments and houses, pointed to “exceptional” demand for rental accommodation in Ireland.

Rental income margin in the first quarter remained in line with same period last year, while rent collections were in excess of 99pc.

The company’s loan-to-value ratio rose to 44.7pc at the end of March, from 44.3pc at the end of December last year. This increase was driven by the payment of the company’s final dividend in the period.

“Occupancy rates across our portfolio continue to be in excess of 99pc, demonstrating the high-quality nature of our assets in attractive locations, and driven by our market leading digital operating platform,” Ires chief executive Eddie Byrne said.

“We continue to believe the medium-term outlook for both the PRS [private rental sector] in Ireland and the Ires portfolio remains positive, underpinned by strong levels of demand which far outstrip supply,” he added.

At today’s AGM, the Ires board will also recommend that shareholders approve the appointment of two Vision Capital nominees, Richard Nesbitt and Amy Freedman, as directors.

Last month, Ires Reit and rebel shareholder Vision Capital agreed terms for an effective truce following Vision’s campaign against the private landlord earlier this year.

The terms of the agreement also saw Vision withdraw resolutions it had tabled for inclusion at today’s meeting and instead will undertake to vote in favour of resolutions recommended by the board at general meetings over the next year.

Mr Byrne also pointed to the company’s ongoing strategic review.

“We are continuing to conduct a thorough and comprehensive strategic review at pace, which is attempting to unlock the inherent value contained with the Ires operating platform and maximise value for shareholders,” he said.

In a statement in January, the board announced that a review would take place to consider a “full range of strategic options” to maximise value for shareholders.

These include consolidation, mergers, a review of the company as a listed Reit, the sale of the entire issued capital of the company and the sale of assets and returning value to shareholders.

Last month, Ires Reit reported that an accelerated sale of the company’s portfolio would prove “challenging” in the short-term due to current market conditions. This included a sale to occupiers or to social providers, such as the government.

The country’s biggest private sector landlord pointed to “historically low” levels of liquidity in European real estate assets, including in Ireland.

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