Germany’s biggest pension fund, Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), has hired Corestate Capital to invest €500m in European micro-apartments.

The announcement comes two weeks after IPE Real Estate reported that the €70bn institution was planning to invest €3.6bn in a number of real estate strategies.

The Corestate mandate will form one of three sub-funds that BVK is creating to target residential markets in Europe. The sub-funds, which include Nordic and Dutch residential strategies, make up a €1.7bn residential master fund, administered by Universal-Investment.

Corestate is seeding the new sub-fund with five student housing assets from its own portfolio. Four are located in Germany and one is in Austria.

BVK-Residential Europe-Immobilienfonds Corestate will invest primarily in micro-apartments and will focus particularly on student housing properties in German and Austrian university towns.

Corestate will be responsible for acquisitions, asset management and ongoing operation of the assets.

André Heimrich, member of the management board investments at BVK, said: “For us, the newly launched micro-apartment fund offers the rare opportunity to invest in a functioning portfolio with an attractive return forecast and at the same time to involve a specialist in this segment for asset management.

“As a result, we are also expanding our investment spectrum with a future-oriented asset class.”

Sascha Wilhelm, CEO of Corestate, said: “We were one of the first investors to enter the student housing market in Germany.

“Together with semi-institutional investors, we developed a successful investment product and at the same time set up a fully functioning operating platform for this asset class.

BVK recently hired Patrizia to create a €400m pan-European residential portfolio, and it chose CapMan Real Estate to invest the same amount in Nordic housing markets.

BVK is also creating a €1.9bn master fund with four sub-funds to invest in real estate in Asia-Pacific.