Belfast Telegraph

Biggest Northern Ireland care homes sale in decade complete at £14.9m

By Rachel Martin

A Northern Ireland care home portfolio has sold for almost £15m in what's thought to be the single biggest sale in the industry here in the last decade. The investment portfolio includes three homes, two in Co Armagh and one in Co Antrim, fetching £14.9m.

The three specialist care homes are designed specifically for the care of disabled people.

They were snapped up by LXi REIT for £14.9m, reflecting a net initial yield of 6.48%.

The portfolio is leased to the Priory Group, a major provider of behavioural care and elderly services in the UK, with lease terms of between 25 and 30 years.

The three homes - Apple Mews 1 and Apple Mews 2 in Armagh, and Edenmore in Jordanstown - will generate a total of £1m a year in rent.

Apple Mews 1 houses 30 people and upon completion early next year, Apple Mews 2 will add an extra 34 rooms to the facility. The recently-opened Edenmore also includes 36 rooms.

Mark O'Kane, managing director at O'Kane Commercial, who acted on behalf of seller Emerald Construction, said: "We are pleased to have completed the sale of this specialist care home portfolio to LXi REIT.

"This transaction illustrates the investor confidence in the Northern Ireland healthcare sector and the prime healthcare real estate investment market".

Strutt & Parker also joined O'Kane Commercial in acting for Emerald Construction while Baron Associates represented LXi REIT.

Mr O'Kane said the care home sector was becoming increasingly popular with investors due to the stability associated with long-term leases and the increasing demand of care services.

The homes were built by Emerald Construction, with the newest of the three expected to be finished over the next few months.

Work began on Apple Mews 2 around six months ago.

The major extension to the Apple Mews 1 care home is thought to have cost around £3.6m to build.

The Apple Mews care homes are designed for people with learning disabilities, autism and complex physical disabilities so that staff can provide appropriate nursing care to support the development of independence and life skills.

It's expected that once Apple Mews 2 is complete, the two Armagh homes will together employ almost 50 people.

Apple Mews 1 includes five housing units, each made up of six en-suite bedrooms.

Residents can also make use of the day lounge, communal area, activity room, dining suite and kitchen.

The deal comes just a few weeks after the Diocese of Down and Connor sold Our Lady's Care Home on Ard Na Va Road, west Belfast to Macklin Group.

Belfast Telegraph