Founded in March of last year, ION Residential Platform (IRP) was the very first unlisted institutional housing platform in Belgium. It is a joint venture between the fast-growing project developer ION and the institutional asset managers Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors and CBRE Investment Management. Together, they will invest at least EUR 280 million in some 1,000 sustainable and affordable homes in Belgium’s largest cities. The acquisitions will be sourced from ION as well as other developers.
IRP’s vision was clear right from the start: invest in the residential rental market because tens of thousands of Belgians will no longer be able to buy their own homes in the near future. The rising cost of living and real estate prices only seem to accelerate this trend. Today, seven out of ten Belgians own their own home, but experts expect that their number will drop to 65 percent by 2030, returning to 1995 levels.
This trend is most pronounced among the less affluent households (income below 60% of the median). Among them, the number of home owners in our country has steadily declined in recent years (from 45% to 37%) – well below the European average (50%). The need for affordable rental housing is steadily increasing in the Brussels-Capital Region in particular – it’s the most expensive region in the country. IRP aims to provide a solution for the affordability issue and this first transaction perfectly fits this strategy.