Greystar Real Estate Partners has agreed to acquire four purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) buildings and a build-to-rent (BTR) asset for €464m (£388m) from Downing on behalf of a managed fund in an open market bidding process. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals. The four PBSA assets comprise a total of 1,807 beds in the leading university cities of London, Manchester and Coventry. The Build to Rent asset is also located in Coventry and comprises 100 homes, which Greystar will operate as young professional (under-25) housing. Both the PBSA and BTR assets are currently operational with strong occupancy, boasting high-quality amenities including gyms, cinema rooms and terraces.
Ben Mowbray, Senior Director – UK Investment, Greystar, said: "Our growth strategy in the UK is underpinned by strong, long-term market fundamentals. With the expectation that the UK’s 18-year-old population is set to grow by 2.1% per annum until 2030, Greystar is well-positioned to capitalise on increasing demand for high-quality student accommodation. Meanwhile, we will be introducing young professional housing to our portfolio in the UK for the first time, which has been very successful in our other European markets.”
George Downing, Founder of Downing, said: “We invested heavily to develop these sites to the highest possible standard and are extremely proud of what we have achieved. All assets currently have strong occupancy and boast high-quality amenities including gyms, cinema rooms and terraces. It is a reflection of the quality of these assets and Downing’s approach that we secured such strong interest from large institutional investors. We are proud to be setting the standards in terms of design, quality of build and management of these residential schemes and also to be setting the bar in terms of transformational place-making and regeneration. This announcement marks an exciting milestone for our business. With over €1.2bn (£1bn) worth of developments in the pipeline at sites across the UK, the agreement we have reached with Greystar will allow us to look for opportunities to grow our development programme further.”
Melody Mijnen, Senior Director – Marketing, Brand and Insights, Greystar, said: “With the launch of our Canvas brand, we are pledging to work together with our residents to create a more sustainable future, as we believe what we do today affects our tomorrow. All of our brands are customer-centric with residents at their heart; we utilise extensive customer research and feedback to thoroughly understand the needs and preferences of our target audiences. By listening and learning from our residents, we know that sustainability and wellbeing are now not just nice to have but central to their decision-making process. It is envisaged that as the footprint of the brand grows across Europe that Canvas residents will be able to benefit from short stays at other buildings within the portfolio giving them easy access to a range of cities.”