9 January 2018 – Eje Prime
Spain is already a reference country in Europe for investment in student halls, as evidenced by the entry of foreign capital into the domestic market. The latest company to look for returns in this sector is Collegiate. The British firm is searching for an enclave in Barcelona, after opening student halls in Madrid and Valencia. The company has already announced that it plans to make its debut in the Catalan capital “soon”.
Collegiate is a company specialising in the management of student residences with a notable presence in the British Isles, where it owns assets in most of the capital and large cities. In Spain, the firm arrived first in Madrid with a hall of residence in Aravaca with 213 prime private rooms, whilst in Valencia, it entered in the maritime area with 350 rooms.
Both buildings have common areas that are typical for these types of prime assets, including a swimming pool, a fitness room, a cinema and a study area with library. The price per person in the Madrilenian hall ranges from €204 to €238 per week, depending on the features of the room, whilst staying in the building in Valencia costs between €196 and €204 per week.
Currently, Collegiate is embarking on an expansion process across Europe, as evidenced by its upcoming openings in Portugal, in Porto, and in another town with a great university tradition in the neighbouring country, Coimbra, which will be added to the hall of residence it recently opened in Lisbon. In Spain, nevertheless, its next major project is yet to come, given that the company has announced its upcoming arrival in Barcelona, a destination city for students from all over the world.
Investment in student halls amounted to €560 million in 2017
The commitment from this international company to Spain comes in addition to those that have been made over the last year by a market that is clearly booming. In 2017, investment in student halls grew to €560 million, according to data from the real estate consultancy JLL. The significant growth, which compares to the barely €50 million that was invested in 2016, was driven primarily by transactions known as Erasmus and Rio.
Project Erasmus involved the sale of the portfolio of assets owned by the Resa Group, the largest in the country, to Greystar in an operation that was appraised at around €500 million. As a result of the purchase, the manager now owns 37 assets (33 of which are already operational) in Spain and is supported financially by a joint venture formed by the international investment funds AXA Real Assets and CBRE Global Investment Partners.
Meanwhile, the operation known as Rio involved the British manager GSA (Global Student Accommodation), which acquired Nexo Residencias from Threesixty Developments, a company owned by the fund Oaktree Capital, as part of an investment plan in which it plans to spend €300 million over the next five years. In addition, another recognised player, the investor group Catella, has also set its sights on this alternative investment business in Spain, with the acquisition of La Campana hall of residence in Pamplona.
Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)
Translation: Carmel Drake