GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, is expanding its global student-housing strategy into Germany.
Days after revealing it acquired a large portfolio in the UK, GIC and student-housing operator GSA announced they planned to buy and develop assets in major German cities.
GIC and GSA revealed they had bought a portfolio of close to 1,000 student beds in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Munster and Dresden, as well as a pipeline of 1,500 beds, which will be expanded through investments and developments, and in working with local property companies.
GSA’s partnership with GIC will target the major university cities in Germany such as Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.
The joint-venture partners said purpose-built and managed student accommodation was a new concept for the German rental market, and that their strategy was designed to meet the needs of Millennial students and universities seeking to enhance the attractiveness of their institutions.
Germany, boasting Europe’s largest student market, presents a significant opportunity for GSA’s planned expansion on the Continent, and the company has set an initial target of opening 10,000 beds.
Madeleine Cosgrave, regional head for Europe at GIC Real Estate, said the German student-housing market was at an “early stage of growth”.
She added: “We see good opportunities for consolidation, as the market is highly fragmented.”
The properties will be operated under the banner of GSA’s Uninest student residences brand, which provides specialist management – including everything from viewing to booking to billing, high-speed internet provision and on-site community management.
Nicholas Porter, executive chairman at GSA, said: “GIC is a highly experienced capital partner in the student-accommodation sector, and we are very pleased to be working with them to realise the significant growth opportunities present in this market.
“There is a huge number of students studying in Germany, but accommodation is in short supply, and purpose-built student accommodation almost non-existent.”