Varma sells portfolio as Barings enters European residential market

Barings Real Estate Advisers has entered the European housing market by buying a €43m portfolio in Finland for an unnamed institutional investor.

Barings, owned by US insurer MassMutual, said it bought the seven properties from the €44bn Finnish pensions insurance company Varma.

The assets are in the cities of Espoo, Tampere, Turku and Lahti and include 301 apartments with 18,770sqm of rental accommodation.

Göran Bengtsson, managing director and head of the Nordics at Barings Real Estate Advisers, said: “The demand for rental accommodation in Finland remains strong, both with prospective tenants and investors.”

He said he expected the demand “to be further strengthened over the coming years” due to a limited pipeline of new developments and an ongoing trend of urbanisation.

All buildings in the deal are located in popular residential areas with strong transport links and local services, Barings said, adding that the portfolio was almost fully let.

The firm said it was continuing to focus on Sweden and Finland within the Nordic markets and looking for potential investments in several sectors and strategies.

It said it now manages more than €844m of real estate assets in the Nordics.

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