Harrison Street has sold $1.9bn (€1.6bn) worth of US student housing assets in separate deals with Global Student Accommodation (GSA) and Scion.

GSA, which entered the US market in December last year, has acquired a portfolio of 12 properties and 8,182 beds located across 10 states and 12 cities, stretching East to West coast.

The properties are in locations close to large universities with five of the properties situated next to Power-5 schools in Alabama, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Kentucky, GSA said, adding that the portfolio is over 93% occupied. 

GSA said its operating partner, Yugo, will provide management and oversight of the portfolio.

Harrison Street said it has also sold a portfolio of 25 properties and 15,817 beds across 19 universities sold to a joint venture affiliated with Scion.

Christopher Merrill, Harrison Street’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, said, “The two large-scale transactions reflect Harrison Street’s longstanding strategy of acquiring or developing individual assets at leading universities, executing on defined business plans, and exiting via strategic portfolio sales.

“GSA and Scion are among the world’s most sophisticated and well-respected real estate investors and operators, and these dispositions are emblematic of our strong student housing track record and ability to create value for our investors and partners.”

James Hunt, managing director of real estate at GSA, said: “We are delighted to secure our second major asset acquisition in the US market.

The deal doubles the size of GSA’s portfolio in North America.

”This opportunity perfectly aligns with our investment growth strategy, allowing us to capitalise on current market conditions while strengthening our portfolio to deliver sustainable investor returns,” Hunt said.

Barrett Lowell, the head of education and multi-family, asset management at Harrison Street, said the large-scale portfolio transaction not only presents a unique opportunity for GSA to expand its footprint across the US but also furthers the deep and longstanding relationship between the two firms.

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