AXA IM - Real Assets has entered the Australian student accommodation market by partnering with Scape, a leading operator and manager of student accommodation assets, and Allianz, another global insurance group, in acquiring a portfolio of six operational assets totalling 3,510 beds from the Atira Student Living platform. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The portfolio is well-diversified with assets located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide which are in close proximity to some of Australia’s top universities such as the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland. The assets offer a variety of room types from studios to twin shares and cluster apartments. The amenity offering of the assets is of a high standard with features such as rooftop pools, games rooms, private study areas, theatres and communal areas to encourage social interaction amongst students. The portfolio is very modern with the average asset age being less than two years.
The Venture intends to make further investments in the sector to create a pre-eminent portfolio of student housing assets in Australia. As part of the partnership with Scape, the venture will have exclusive access to Scape’s extensive development pipeline, from which it can selectively acquire assets.
This acquisition sees AXA IM - Real Assets build on its extensive global student housing expertise comprising a portfolio of over 11,400 beds. Expanding into the Australian student accommodation market is consistent with its strategy of investing in alternative real asset sectors in the APAC region.
Kumar Kalyanakumar, Head of Australia at AXA IM - Real Assets, commented: “We are pleased to be partnering with a best in class student accommodation operator and manager in Scape to enter the attractive Australian student accommodation market. Scape’s experience, scale and pipeline will enable the Venture to grow, diversify and achieve significant operational synergies. Further, we are also pleased to be in this venture with high quality and like-minded capital partner such as Allianz. Following our recent investments into the Australian hotel and healthcare sectors, the expansion into student housing is a key part in offering our clients exposure to alternative real estate sectors in Australia. We have a high conviction for alternative real estate classes given their attractive relative returns potential and the underlying fundamental growth drivers that support them. We are attracted to the Australian student housing sector in particular, which is set to continue to benefit from Australia’s position as a leading destination for international students. Australia has the third-highest population of international students and has seven universities that rank in the top 100 globally. Further, its livable cities and close economic and social ties with south-east Asia will ensure it continues to benefit from this growing market. We look forward to growing the portfolio on behalf of our clients, together with Scape and Allianz”.