Coral agrees 840 bed student accommodation investment (UK)

Advised by CBRE, the Coral Student Portfolio ('Coral'), a fund that invests in student accommodation funds and joint ventures, has entered into a new investment, the Student Development Partnership. The partnership has invested in two new student housing sites; one in Coventry and the other in Birmingham.

Both sites will be developed and operated by leading student accommodation provider, Victoria Hall Management (UK) Ltd.

Both schemes, which have a combined estimated end value of £50 million (approx. €62 million), are scheduled for completion in September 2013 ready to support that year's student intake.

Located opposite the Coventry University campus, the Alma Road scheme will comprise 404 beds – helping to meet the university's growing accommodation demands. Coventry University has seen applications increase 9% since 2010 according to figures from UCAS. The Birmingham scheme is adjacent to The University of Birmingham and will comprise 434 beds.

The Victoria Hall Management (UK) Ltd team has developed and operated over 6,000 beds across 13 sites in the UK and three in Europe, the management team has twice been awarded the highest accolade in student accommodation receiving the 2011 & 2012 'Best Private Halls Provider' from the National Student Housing Survey.

At the same time, another joint venture between Coral and Student Residence Investments Limited has appointed UNITE to manage the recently refurbished Greencoat House, Kingston. UNITE is the largest provider of student accommodation in the UK. Greencoat House will be launched in September and comprises 64 Studios.

Coral continues to attract new investors, with the NAV per unit having grown 34% since 2009. On Coral's behalf, CBRE continues to actively seek similar opportunities to invest alongside established operators and developers.

Research from CBRE shows that despite the prospect of higher tuition fees, the UK Higher Education system remains heavily oversubscribed with only 10 places for every 14 applicants. The number of student places continues to grow with 7.75% more students accepted into universities in 2011 than in 2007.

John Nesbitt, Managing Director, Victoria Hall Management (UK) Ltd, said:
"We are pleased to announce this joint venture with Coral; we hope this to be the first of many. The two sites are in fantastic locations next to established universities with great growth potential. Coral's commitment to the sector and ability to write sizeable equity tickets has been key to unlocking these sites".

Lawrence Frampton, co-fund manager of the Coral Student Portfolio, said:
"With limited bank lending, the property markets in general are capital constrained at present. As a source of equity Coral is uniquely positioned to partner with established market operators and developers.

"These partnerships provide the opportunity to create quality accommodation in student housing markets suffering from under-supply. Coral is committed to investing in quality locations with strong supply and demand characteristics. As such this partnership fulfils Coral's robust investment criteria and commitment to invest in top quality accommodation and in top locations."

Source: FTI Consulting

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