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Swedish Investor With ‘Expansion Mindset’ Buys Fairfax Apartments For $106M

The Dwell Vienna Metro apartments

A Swedish real estate investment firm is expanding its Northern Virginia footprint as it seeks to redeploy assets from Europe to North America.

Akelius Residential purchased the Dwell Vienna Metro apartments last week from Brookfield for $106M, the latest in a string of acquisitions as the company grows its portfolio in the broader D.C. region, the buyer told Bisnow

The 251-unit property at 2975 Hunters Branch Road in Fairfax sits less than a mile from the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU metro station.

"Virginia is always ranked as one of the best places to do business, and we like that job growth in Northern Virginia," Akelius Residential Vice President Matt Serenius said. "We're very much in the expansion mindset."

The deal was brokered by Eastdil Secured's Dave NachisonBrenden Flood and Bret Thompson, the latter of whom recently left for JLL.

Akelius Properties sold 30,000 units in Europe this month in a deal that Serenius said was 20% above the company's internal valuation. That freed up 9.1B euros, much of which the company expects to leverage stateside.

Serenius, who has worked in residential real estate in the area for over 15 years, said "competition was very strong" for the deal and noted pricing was higher than it was a year or two ago. He said the property, which was built in 2008, was so attractive because it is a "cash-flowing property with light value-add work."

"We've had a pretty big urban presence in D.C., but during the pandemic we've continued to buy properties in Northern Virginia and also in Maryland and this fits what we're looking for right now," Serenius said.

The Fairfax property will be the management firm's fifth property in its Northern Virginia portfolio, after it acquired the Fairway Apartments in Reston from JBG Smith in May. It has also acquired several properties in the District and Maryland over the last four years.