Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF) has invested €85m in a German student housing portfolio.

The company bought the assets through Engel & Völkers Investment Consulting (EVIC), mandated by DREF to invest up to €200m in the sector.

Felix Bauer, DREF chief executive, said the company aimed to double its portfolio by the end of this year and had a “substantial pipeline of projects”.

EVIC will prepare and purchase properties with a value of up to €200m. 

Berlin, Bremen, Kiel, Stuttgart, Bochum and Essen are being targeted for investment.

Kai Wolfram, managing shareholder at EVIC, said the market for student housing “really took off” in 2015.

“It is gradually becoming increasingly difficult to acquire good-quality buildings in central locations at reasonable prices,” he added. 

DREF, which builds, acquires, refurbishes and manages student residences under the TWENTY FIRST brand, is majority owned by the Bauer Group. 

Internos Global Investors and family office Somerston Group hold a combined 27.5%.