Mapletree Investments acquires four UK student-accommodation properties for around S$300M

The Portland Crescent student accommodation, located in Nottingham in the U.K. It's located next to Leeds Beckett University's Business School. Credit: Mapletree InvestmentsThe Portland Crescent student accommodation, located in Nottingham in the U.K. It's located next to Leeds Beckett University's Business School. Credit: Mapletree Investments

Mapletree Investments has acquired four purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) assets in the U.K. for more than 165 million British pounds, or around S$300 million from Vita Group, the property investor said in press release Monday.

The assets, with 917 beds in total, are in Exeter, Bristol, Leeds and Nottingham, and are located in walking distance to Russell Group Universities, the statement said.

“This acquisition of four high-quality assets will enhance the scale and reach of our PBSA presence in the U.K. This also underscores our commitment to grow the student accommodation sector as a stable and resilient asset class, with growth anchored by strong underlying and positive demographic and student enrolment trends,” Chua Tiow Chye, Mapletree’s deputy CEO, said in the statement.

Chua added the PBSA markets in the U.K. and U.S. are seeing robust recoveries as schools reopen for in-person classes, with high vaccination rates and strong student enrolment levels enabling solid pre-leasing rates of student beds for the upcoming academic yeaer.

“Mapletree will continue to expand its global footprint in this asset class for its attractive long term growth prospects supported by strong fundamentals of domestic and international students’ demand,” Chua said.

The seller, Vita Group, will be engaged to operate the four assets under its Vita Student brand, the statement said.

The latest acquisition brings Mapletree’s student accommodation portfolio to 55 assets with more than 23,000 beds across 37 cities in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, with about 60 percent of the beds held by Mapletree’s private fund Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust.

As of end-March, Mapletree Investments owned and managed S$66.3 billion of properties in the data center, industrial, lodging, logistics, mixed-use, multifamily, office, residential and retail sectors. Mapletree Investments is wholly owned by Singapore state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings.