Powerhouse Habitat, the French residential REIT managed by TwentyTwo Real Estate subsidary Scaprim, has bought three buildings in Aix-en-Provence.
Powerhouse acquired the blocks in the city’s Saint-Mitre western district from Swiss Life Asset Managers. The 9,000 m2 of space includes 114 flats.
Powerhouse Habitat focuses on French affordable housing in the private sector. Daniel Rigny, managing partner of TwentyTwo Real Estate, said it is targeting faster-growing French cities, many in the southern half of France, as well as greater Paris.
‘Urbanisation in France is continuing and in the southern half of France, whether in larger or smaller cities, there is a much faster pace of growth. Some northern cities are shrinking,’ Rigny said.
TwentyTwo established Powerhouse Habitat as a private REIT in a recapitalisation in December 2017 with institutional investors BNP Paribas Cardif, Société Générale Insurance and OPCI BNP Paribas Diversipierre.
They acquired a €1 bn-plus seed portfolio which TwentyTwo had bought in 2013 via an opportunistic acquisition with Massena Partners and Farallon Capital Management.
The homes in the portfolio are let on a long-term masterlease to French power generation company EDF for the benefit of its employees.
Powerhouse aims to build a housing portfolio of €3 bn over the next two-to-three years. It is believed to have been one of the initial bidders for the ‘Vesta’ private affordable housing portfolio which has just been sold to a consortium of investors led by CDC Habitat.
This article first appeared in EuroProperty, the sister publication of PropertyEU.