Over €1.1 billion was spent by corporate investors on multi-unit residential schemes last year, according to a new report by property consultants Savills Ireland.
That represents almost 30% of total property investment in 2018.
Savills said that nearly five times more units were block-purchased in 2018 compared with 2017, with 2,923 units bought.
It noted that Dublin has always been the focus of investor interest, but increased development activity has led to an even greater concentration on the city. 81% of the units purchased last year were in Dublin.
Dr John McCartney, Director of Research at Savills, said a very strong investor appetite for residential assets in Dublin is still very evident – driven by market fundamentals.
"Rising house prices and tight mortgage lending have driven a big shift from owner-occupation to private renting," he said.
The number of households renting in Dublin rose by 10.8% last year, and nearly 27% of all households are now in the private rented sector. This has led to strong rents and negligible vacancy – factors which are obviously attractive to investors," he added.
Dr McCartney said that while new residential supply is now coming on-stream, the residential market is likely to remain under-supplied until at least 2022.
He said this should ensure continued investor appetite for well-located residential investments.