Unite Students, acting on behalf of Unite Students Accommodation Fund (USAF), has acquired 123 Fountainbridge in Edinburgh for a total consideration of €27.2m (£24m), representing an acquisition yield of 6%.
The site, located close to the University of Edinburgh’s campus on Princes Street, consists of 331 beds and is 100% let for the 2017/2018 academic year. The acquisition price also includes plans for installing a new reception, common space and study areas, as well as façade improvement works, all of which are set to be delivered in 2019 and would help ensure sustainable rental growth.
The transaction supports Unite’s strategy of aligning its property portfolio with high-ranking universities in the UK where student numbers are growing and creating further earnings growth and visibility. The University of Edinburgh has seen 24% growth in student numbers since the 2010/2011 academic year, with international (EU 11% & Non-EU 25%) students making up 36% of total student numbers. There are over 50,000 full-time students (over 60,000 students) studying in the city of which over 50% attend the University of Edinburgh. It is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50 and ranked 23rd in the QS World University Rankings. The 123 Fountainbridge site adds to Unite’s existing portfolio of four assets in the city and increases the total number of beds to 1,680.
Richard Simpson, Group Property Director, Unite Students said: "Edinburgh is one of the leading university destinations, with increasing student numbers. Combined with our other four Unite sites in the city, 123 Fountainbridge offers further diversification within our portfolio providing students with one of the most affordable student accommodation options in the city centre. This is a great addition to our portfolio and at 100% occupancy for the 2017/2018 academic year, it is clearly proving a popular choice for Edinburgh’s growing student population.”