Far East Orchard buys UK student housing portfolio

uk student housing sector

Singapore based Far East Orchard announced it has acquired three freehold student accommodation properties for £55 million (S$98.7 million) in Liverpool and Bristol, United Kingdom.

The portfolio consists of 622 beds which are the 133-bed Harbour Court and 166-bed St Lawrence House in Bristol, and The Glassworks in Liverpool with 323 beds.

Far East Orchard now has a portfolio of 2,091 purpose-built student accommodation (“PBSA”) beds across eight properties in the UK.

The properties will be managed by the facility manager of the Group’s existing student accommodation portfolio in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Bristol is a strong regional city for PBSA, with two major universities and a sizeable full-time student population.

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It was identified by Savills as a first-class location for student accommodation development. Liverpool is one of the largest university cities in the UK and home to four higher education institutions,

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Far East Orchard, Mr Lui Chong Chee said, “Since our entry into the UK student accommodation sector in 2015 via the acquisition of a portfolio of properties and land sites for development in Newcastle upon Tyne, we have expanded into three other cities – Brighton, Bristol and Liverpool. Our latest acquisition of three stabilised properties in established UK university cities is part of our strategy to enlarge our recurring income base, thereby reinforcing the Group’s resilience.”

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“We are confident of the long-term fundamentals of the UK student accommodation market and remain on the lookout for opportunities to grow our student accommodation portfolio. In line with our strategy to grow our recurring income base, we remain on target to grow our student accommodation portfolio to 3,000 beds by 2023,” added Mr Lui.

In Brighton, the Group is developing Hollingbury House, a 193-bed student accommodation property, scheduled for completion in 2019. The completion of Hollingbury House will further scale up the Group’s PBSA portfolio in the UK from approximately 2,100 beds to close to 2,300 beds by the end of this year.