Student Dorms Drawing Billionaires Have Record Sales in U.K.

Student Dormitory

For the first time the value of acquisitions in the U.K. student-accommodation market beat the U.S., where $3 billion was spent on this type of property during the same period.

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board are among buyers who have spurred investments in U.K. student-housing to a record this year.

Investors agreed to deals worth a total of $6.5 billion in the first nine months, broker Savills Plc said in a report on Monday. Purchasers of U.K. student properties are attracted by the strong overseas demand for university places in London, which increases competition for accommodation and pushes up rents, said Paul Tostevin, an associate director at Savills.

For the first time the value of acquisitions in the U.K. student-accommodation market beat the U.S., where $3 billion was spent on this type of property during the same period.

“North American, Middle Eastern and Russian investors have led the charge into the U.K.,” Marcus Roberts, director of student investment and development at Savills, said in the report. “We expect continued global competition for stock, combined with limited opportunities, to lead to further yield compression in the near term.”

CPPIB bought Liberty Living for $1.7 billion, the biggest deal this year in the global student-home market, according to Savills. Fridman’s LetterOne Treasury Services acquired Pure Student Living from Carlyle Group LP for $770 million and a venture between Goldman Sachs and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC paid $770 million for a portfolio from Oaktree-backed Knightsbridge Student Living, the broker said.

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