We supported Singapore-based fund manager Sunway RE Capital with the acquisition of a student housing block in Southampton for an undisclosed sum.

The real estate platform controlled by Malaysia’s Sunway Group bought the 233-bed property – Green Wood Court in Bassett Green Road – through its Singapore-established and sponsored private trust Sunway Residence Trust II.

The deal follows recent student accommodation acquisitions in Sheffield and Bristol in 2019, followed by Manchester in 2020, bringing the Southeast Asian investment platform’s UK assets portfolio to £75 million and more than 800 beds across the UK.

The sponsored private trust invests principally in purpose-built student accommodation assets serving Britain’s Russell Group universities.

Mohammed Saqub, real estate finance partner, said: “It is always great to support international institutional investors like Sunway RE with their funding requirements. Our real estate finance team has a long standing relationship with banks and investors looking to invest in UK real-estate including student accommodation.  Demand for good quality yield producing assets remains very high.”

Andrew Mellor, real estate partner, said: “It has been a pleasure to act for Sunway on the purchase of this student accommodation asset.  UK student accommodation has matured as a real estate backed investment asset.  This transaction was a perfect example of high quality international investment being made into that asset class on the back of solid trading history and future predictable income.”

Catherine Moss, corporate partner, said: “We’re seeing growing interest from overseas investors in the UK student accommodation market. UK university applications were at a record high for the academic year last year, with international student applications also increasing again – making the UK an attractive proposition for those investors seeking more stable income streams.”

Green Wood Court has achieved a 100% occupancy rate for the academic year 2022/2023. Following a refurbishment in 2018 there is further opportunity for asset enhancement initiatives and to add new studios at the site.

Sunway RE Capital Chief Executive Officer Dr. Tan Kok Heng said: “This is a great acquisition for us given the size and scale of the property and its potential. The support from Shakespeare Martineau made this a very smooth transaction for us.

“Building on this momentum and the strength of Sunway’s track record and competencies, we aim to accelerate our efforts to scale up our platform to acquire additional yield accretive student accommodations in the UK, grow our AUM and extend our track record.”

Advisors from Shakespeare Martineau included real estate experts Andrew Mellor and Matt Latchem, real estate finance lawyers Mohammed Saqub, Simon Lovell and Afreen Cole, and, corporate lawyers Catherine Moss and Deeya Ray.

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Published: 11th April 2023
Area: Corporate

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