Mapletree Investments has bought another US real estate portfolio from Kayne Anderson, bringing the total value of aasets exchanged between the two companies to US$1.6bn (€1.4bn).

Temasek-backed Mapletree has bought eight purpose-built student housing assets in the US and Canada and four multi-family assets in the US from the Los-Angeles-based Kayne Anderson Real Estate for an undisclosed price.

In March, Mapletree launched its first student accommodation fund, Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust, which owns assets valued at US$1.3bn in the UK and the US. The manager has a 35% stake in the trust.

A spokesperson for Mapletree told IPE Real Estate: “The latest student housing portfolio acquired will be used to seed a follow-on student housing fund once we have acquired more assets to achieve our desired scale.”

The Mapletree spokesperson said the group has so far acquired 22 assets worth US$1.6bn from Kayne Anderson, comprising more than 12,000 student housing beds and 1,388 multifamily units in the US and Canada.

The latest transaction adds to Mapletree’s portfolio another 3,611student beds in the US, including WaHu student accommodation in Minneapolis and the 4th Street Commons in Miami. These two assets are located near the University of Minnesota and Florida International University, respectively.

The newly-acquired assets also include 140 student beds in Montreal, Canada, near McGill University.

In the US, Mapletree also acquired four housing blocks with 1388 apartments in Georgia, Colorado and Minnesota. The apartments, completed in 2015, have an average occupancy of 88%.

Mapletree entered the global student housing market in March 2016, when it bought a portfolio of 25 student accommodation assets comprising 5,500 beds in the UK.

It expanded to the US market last November, acquiring seven student accommodation assets in six states in the US from Kayne Anderson, with which it has formed a partnership to access future assets.

Chief executive Hiew Yoon Khong said Mapletree’s strategy is to step up investment globally, including in Australia and continental Europe.

Since 2016, said Hiew, Mapletree has expanded into the student housing asset class on a global scale. He sees the sector as offering “stable and consistent earnings”.

“The short time we have taken to achieve scale demonstrates our group’s capabilities and commitment, and we will continue to grow our current portfolio further globally,” he said.

“Growing university enrolment rates continue to drive demand for student housing.

“This sector is still under-served, and we see opportunities because there is a gap between enrolment and total supply of purpose-built student housing.”