Amro Real Estate Partners is expanding its reach across southern Europe to capitalise on the potential of the purpose-built student housing market in Spain and Portugal. CBRE Spain have been appointed to seek a joint venture partner for a capital investment of €300m to access the full potential of the market in Iberia. Amro has ambitious plans to create a 5,000-bed investment platform spanning the Iberia region through development, refurbishment, forward purchase and acquisition.
Amro has also acquired its first property in continental Europe, a development site in Granada, Spain on which it will develop a 360-bed student housing scheme to open in 2020. A strong pipeline of further transactions has been established with around 3,000 beds currently under negotiation, of which 1,300 are under exclusivity across both Spain and Portugal.
The Iberia region has more than 1.8 million students yet only 97,000 beds. Competition in the sector is limited to much of the available product run by religious orders or public universities that is of substandard quality and often poorly managed.
Raj Kotecha, Managing Director at Amro Real Estate Partners, commented: “The student housing market in Southern Europe shares characteristics with the UK student housing market of 10-12 years ago with demand for purpose-built accommodation significantly outstripping supply and competition from professionally managed schemes being limited. This is a market still very much in its infancy and we believe our entry timing is ideal. We have an ambitious and well-formulated investment strategy with a strong pipeline of schemes underway. Working with a joint venture partner who shares our perspective on the market opportunity will allow us to execute this strategy with speed.”
Amro’s Iberia pipeline spans ten cities that are home to some of the best universities in southern Europe including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon. Amro will undertake new build development as well as the modernisation of existing student housing properties in order to deliver the same, high-quality product as it develops in the UK. It will be working with local partners to help ensure successful delivery and management of its properties in the region.