Student accommodation developer Crosslane and French property developer BBFD, advised by international real estate advisor Savills, have formed a joint venture to construct student housing schemes in key university cities across France. The partnership will involve acquiring new sites for development and existing buildings for refurbishment and will tackle the current supply shortage. Savills research highlights that in terms of beds per student the average provision rate in France is currently just 11%. For Crosslane this alliance represents the UK company’s second venture into Europe and their first into the French student housing sector.
Andrew Jamieson, European investment director at Crosslane, says: “Having formed a partnership with Bauer Capital in Germany earlier this year, this is another great joint venture in the development of student housing in Europe. This is the first UK/French student accommodation partnership and with BBFD’s experience and extensive market knowledge this joint venture will increase the provision and availability of high quality student housing in the French market.”
The partnership is already working on several potential acquisitions and aims to develop a platform of circa 5,000 student beds, investing approximately €250 million, over the next five years. The schemes will initially be earmarked for the Victus Student Accommodation Fund, an open-ended fund launched by Crosslane earlier this year. All of the assets will be managed by Prime Student Living.
Crosslane’s first joint venture in the European student housing sector with Bauer Capital in Germany has already resulted in the successful acquisition of properties that have been refurbished to a high specification and achieved rental increases beyond expectations.
Marcus Roberts, head of student investment at Savills, comments: “France has over 2.3 million students in higher education and attracts the second highest number of international students after the UK. Nonetheless, in terms of beds per student the average provision rate in France is 11% representing a significant supply and demand imbalance, an imbalance which this new, important partnership can begin to address.”
Norrington Conseil advised BBFD on the JV.