Sunway acquires PBSA asset in UK

Sunway acquires PBSA asset in Southampton, UK

Sunway RE Capital, a platform for international real estate investments of Malaysia’s Sunway Group, has acquired a new freehold purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), Green Wood Court, in Southampton, UK.

The company purchased the asset through its established and sponsored private trust established in Singapore, Sunway Residence Trust II.

Strategically located with a few minutes’ walk from the University of Southampton’s Highfield and Bolderwood campuses, the 233-bed freehold PBSA, Green Wood Court, also has a bus stop situated directly in front of the property that facilitates ease of access to the rest of the University’s halls and campuses, as well as established connection links to the UK and rest of Europe.

Green Wood Court has achieved a 100% occupancy rate for the academic year 2022/2023 and in 2018, Green Wood Court has been extensively refurbished with new carpets, bathrooms, showers, furniture, and fittings in 2018.

There are opportunities for asset enhancement initiatives to add new studios within Green Wood Court and following the acquisition, Sunway RE Capital will be exploring its options to optimise the potential of this PBSA.

According to Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, universities in the UK are seeking to stabilise student numbers after a surge over the last two years amid the COVID pandemic. The trend is likely to continue in the coming years, as universities in the UK grapple with growing numbers of applications due to an increase in the number of 18-year-olds in the UK population. This is projected to continue for a decade, rising 2-3% almost every year with international student numbers growing as well.

Ranked as the 6th safest big city in the UK, the University of Southampton’s campuses are located in prosperous and green areas of Southampton. A global top 100 university, the University of Southampton is also ranked as one of the top 13 university in the UK with a community of over 6,500 international students from 135 different countries.

Post-acquisition, Sunway RE Capital owns and manages a portfolio of 5 PBSA assets (AUM of £75 million) with over 800 beds spanning across key cities in the UK.

Sunway RE Capital Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tan Kok Heng, said: “The demand for quality education overseas continues to see a steady rise post pandemic and the UK remains one of the most popular destination for overseas students in the world.

With its 100% occupancy rate and limited supply of PBSAs in the area, the acquisition of the 233-bed Green Wood Court in Southampton, UK, marks an attractive addition to our PBSA portfolio and it is consistent with our fund strategy to achieve steady and stable income streams, with potential value-added upside through active asset management and enhancement initiatives.

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.”