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Wednesday, December 13, 2023

BlackRock Partnering with Crowdfunded Developer to Invest in Japanese Real Estate

Yoshiyuki Yuto, chief operating officer at Syla

BlackRock said on Monday that it is teaming up with crowd-funded Japanese property company Syla Technologies to expand its investments in the country’s residential real estate market.

Nasdaq-listed Syla announced in a press release ↗ that the partnership with the US asset management giant will offer a private fund managed by Blackrock’s real estate business the opportunity to invest in the Japanese company’s properties, with a focus on its Syforme condominium portfolio.

“As our company strives to enhance its presence in the Japanese real estate market, we view this partnership as an appealing opportunity to work with Syla, which supplies high-quality condominiums,” said Daigo Hirai, head of Japan real estate at BlackRock said in a Japanese language statement. “We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Syla to collaborate in operating and investing in real estate, including condominiums and other properties in Japan.”

The partnership is being established two months after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met in Tokyo with BlackRock chief executive Larry Fink, and other leading investors, to appeal to global asset managers to up their commitments to Asia’s second-largest economy ↗.

Condo Collaboration

Under the terms of the agreement, BlackRock will look for opportunities to invest in Syla’s condominium business, which saw 99.8 percent average occupancy ↗ in its condo business over the first half of 2023, with the Japanese company seeing this fresh backing as a way to increase the scale of its projects.

Syla launched sales at its Syforme Nakano condo project in Tokyo during October

“This business arrangement opens up new opportunities for us to venture into large-scale developments and new businesses,” said Yoshiyuki Yuto, representative director and chief operating officer at Syla. “As a result, we aim to further enhance the quality of our well-received condominium brand, Syforme series.”

The company also operates Rimawari-kun ↗, which has ranked as Japan’s most popular real estate crowdfunding platform in terms of registered users for two years in a row, with more than 260,000 users signed up for the app as of 22 June this year, according to a survey by the Japan Marketing Research Organisation.

Rimawari-kun connects promoters of real estate projects with investors via an online platform which shows yield and social contributions for the investments on display..

Last week, Syla launched its lodging brand with the inaugural project Syla Hotel Zushi-Hayama, located by the beach in Yokosuka, a city one hour’s drive south of central Tokyo. That came after the company in October launched sales for its Syforme Nakan condominium ↗ projects near Tokyo’s Shinjuku.

Syla did not disclose which of BlackRock’s private funds is entering partnership with the Japanese firm. BlackRock had not yet responded to queries from Mingtiandi by the time of publication.

According to the company’s latest financials ↗, Syla reported total assets of JPY 18.8 billion ($129.2 million) as of 30 June.

Asia Expansion

BlackRock, which manages $9.1 trillion in assets under management as of September, has flagged its ambition to boost its Japanese real estate investments, with the firm also managing the iShares Core Japan REIT ETF.

Hirai joined BlackRock as its head of Japan real estate ↗ in August of last year to bring the company new leadership after 12 years in Blackstone’s Tokyo office, where he had served as a managing director.

Kaylie Pferten
Kaylie Pferten
A pilot of submersible crafts in a former life, now married to my husband David and writing about investment advice.

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