GFH expands US residential portfolio with luxury tower

GFH Financial Group has expanded its US multifamily residential portfolio after acquiring a third asset for an estimated $90 million.

The Bahrain-based investment firm announced that the purchase of the luxury high-rise diversifies its US assets and comes amid increasing demand for US multifamily residential properties among renters.

GFH acquired the recently refurbished 17-storey property in downtown Baltimore, Maryland in a Sharia-compliant joint venture with Broadshore Capital Partners.

The building’s amenities include a health club and a rooftop swimming pool that service loft-style apartments with private balconies.

Broadshore is majority-owned by Guardian Life, a New York-based Fortune 500 Company with more than $71 billion of assets under management.

“The US multifamily residential property sector is a significant opportunity for GFH and our investors. The segment demonstrated clear resilience during the pandemic compared to most other parts of the real estate market which experienced a decline. Investment in the multifamily space remained resilient during Covid-19 because of the defensive nature of the sector,” said Razi Al Murbati, chief executive at GFH Capital.

Over $140 billion of capital was deployed in the multifamily sector during 2020.

The US multifamily market experienced a turning point in March 2021, with rents rising 0.6 per cent year-on-year.

Multifamily properties are particularly popular in certain parts of the US and GFH’s real estate strategy aims to capitalise on the trend.

Mr Al Murbati said: “We are aiming to acquire a diverse set of residential properties across the US which will vary in terms of location, size, and local demographics to generate stable cash flows. Our ambitious but calculated real estate strategy favours resilience and is focused on delivering growth and value creation for stakeholders. Our total assets and funds under management now exceed $13bn.”

GFH targets US multifamily residential properties based on several key factors. Assets are located in areas with strong medical centers and education facilities to support stable population growth. There is also an increasing demand for suburban living as the preference for larger living spaces, property amenities, outdoor space are becoming priorities for renters, which has been further accelerated due to Covid-19.

Assets are located in Sun Belt states, which stretch across the southern and southwestern portions of the US.

The US has been witnessing a migratory shift to these states for several years. Almost half of all population growth in the country between 2010 and 2016 happened in the 22 metro areas of the Sun Belt regions.




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