Catella Residential Investment Management’s (CRIM) pan-European residential fund has entered the Finnish market with the acquisition of 300 apartments.

The Catella Wohnen Europa fund bought the portfolio from Finnish insurance group Fennia and its subsidiary Fennia Life for €80m.

The portfolio, comprising six residential properties and a lettable area of 18,500sqm. The assets are almost fully-let.

Built in 2011, the properties are mainly located in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, with one in Tampere and one in Jyväskylä, CRIM said.

Benjamin Rüther, investment advisor at CRIM, said: “Finland is a very interesting and professional market as many participants are institutional investors and portfolio sales are common.

“Demand for apartments is increasing due to favourable demographics in the country’s key cities which makes Finland an attractive market to have a presence.”

Jussi Rouhento, managing director at Catella Asset Managment Finland, said: “Residential has become the biggest real estate investment class for institutional investors in Finland in the past decade.”

Foreign investors’ share of the total volume of housing portfolios soared to 58% in 2018 and that strong investment activity has continued so far this year, Rouhento said.

“This was our first local deal in Finland together with Catella’s European residential team and a major step for Catella Asset Management Finland into the residential sector.”

Michael Fink, CRIM managing director, said: “We see more opportunities in Finland as well as other core countries in Europe.

“We are proud that ‘Catella Wohnen Europa’, our second European Residential Fund launched in 2016, used our internal network to partner with the teams from Berlin and Helsinki to help make its first investment into Finnish residential.”

Fink said this acquisition will bring the fund close to the €800m mark and strengthen Catella’s European Residential platform across Europe.

“And we aim to expand further with a focus on affordable housing for seniors, young professionals and students,” he added.