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Conwert Buys Berlin Homes to Boost Units in City by Third

Conwert Immobilien Invest SE, an Austrian company that buys and renovates apartment blocks, agreed to acquire a residential-property portfolio for a “high two-digit” million-euro amount, boosting its real estate in the German capital by about a third.

The yield on the purchase was about 8.3 percent, the Vienna-based company said in a statement today. Conwert now owns about 5,350 units in Berlin.

Foreign investors are increasingly buying German residential real estate as they seek a safe European investment amid the debt crisis. Companies from outside Germany bought 3.3 billion euros worth of German homes in the first half, compared with 2.4 billion euros in all of 2011, according to data compiled by Chicago-based brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle.

“This transaction is a further step in our strategy to increase the average yield of our portfolio by acquisitions in inner-city locations with high appreciation potential,” Chairman Johannes Meran said in the statement.

The portfolio is spread over four districts in Berlin and its average vacancy rate amounts to less than 2.5 percent, Conwert said. With average rents of currently about 5 euros per square meter, it holds a “significant appreciation potential,” according to the company.

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