GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has bought a student housing portfolio in the UK from Oaktree Capital Management.

It said the acquisition, which covers 7,150 beds, is the biggest transaction in the market so far this year.

The portfolio, which will be managed in partnership with student accommodation operator GSA, was reportedly sold for around £700m (€811.1m) according to media reports.

Madeleine Cosgrave, regional head of Europe at GIC Real Estate, said: “The high quality assets are located close to university campuses and city centres.

“As a long-term value investor, we believe student accommodation will be a sector that continues to deliver steady rental growth and resilient income returns amidst a challenging, low-yield environment.”

GIC has been building a global portfolio of student housing assets and was one of the first institutional investors to enter the UK sector in 2005.

The UK portfolio bought from Oaktree has been built within the past three years and includes 3,634 operational beds across nine assets in Liverpool, Bristol, London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Southampton.

The deal also includes a pipeline of 3,516 beds in Plymouth, Portsmouth, Birmingham, Bournemouth and Cambridge.

GSA also said it has acquired the operating platform of the Student Housing Company.

The properties are fully-let for the 2016-17 academic year on a combination of direct student lets and university nomination agreements. GSA will take over operational management of the portfolio.

Nicholas Porter, founder and chairman of GSA said: “This top quality portfolio will give GSA a stronger foothold in the UK market, where the high demand for university places continues to drive the need for well managed, purpose built accommodation.”

Porter said the Student Housing Company brand will come under the GSA group.