Mapletree Investments has purchased four purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets in the UK. According to a press announcement on August 30, the assets were acquired for a total consideration exceeding GBP165 million ($300 million).

Totalling 917 beds, the acquired portfolio comprises PBSA assets in Exeter, Bristol, Leeds and Nottingham. They are located within walking distance to Russell Group Universities as well as in close proximity to amenities such as town centres and train stations. 

“This acquisition of four high-quality assets will enhance the scale and reach of our PBSA presence in the UK. This also underscores our commitment to grow the student accommodation sector as a stable and resilient asset class, with growth anchored by strong underlying and positive demographic and student enrolment trends. In the aftermath of challenges faced by the sector last year during the Covid-19 pandemic, the PBSA markets in the UK and the United  States are experiencing robust recovery with schools re-opening for face-to-face lessons in the next academic year,” says Chua Tiow Chye, Mapletree’s deputy group CEO. 

“The high vaccination rates and strong student enrolment figures in these two markets have also enabled strong pre-leasing rates of student beds for the next academic year to be achieved. Mapletree will continue to expand its global footprint in this asset class for its attractive long term growth prospects supported by strong fundamentals of domestic and international students’ demand,” Chua adds.

The assets were purchased from Vita Group, which will be engaged as the operator for the four assets under the Vita Student brand. 

See also: Mapletree posts net profit of $1.9 bil for FY20/21

Mark Stott, CEO of Vita Group says, “We are excited to partner strategically with Mapletree, agreeing the sale of four assets. In securing this deal, it provides the business with the capital and the confidence to continue to develop the Vita Group platform to thrive, with an everincreasing future pipeline of projects.” 

Including the latest acquisition, Mapletree’s student accommodation portfolio comprises 55 assets with over 23,000 beds located across 37 cities in the UK, the US and Canada. The total assets under management amount to approximately $4 billion. About 60% of these beds are held by Mapletree’s private fund, Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust.

Photo: Mapletree Investments