Long Harbour, a UK real estate fund manager that specialises in build-to-rent housing and ground rents, is expanding into purpose-build student accommodation (PBSA) in combinatioin with Rosethorn Capital Partners.

The joint venture will target high-spec, accessible student accommodation with an initial focus across the UK’s major university hubs, where an undersupply of PBSA is most acute, the company said.

People familiar with the strategy added that “it aims to build a portfolio of up to 10,000 beds across leading UK university towns and cities over the next five to seven years”. The strategy will target growth through a combination of standing stock and new developments, they added.

William Astor, CEO of Long Harbour, said: “We are thrilled to have agreed terms with Rosethorn Capital Partners to lead our PBSA strategy and are looking forward to combining their deep expertise in the student accommodation sector with our own development and operational capability.

“There is a significant undersupply of high-quality student accommodation across the UK’s main university cities, and through our Way of Life platform we intend to provide an exciting and engaging student living experience in areas where it’s most needed.” 

Stephen Rigby, CEO of Rosethorn Capital Partners, who will lead the strategy, said: “We plan to build a high-quality portfolio across the UK and to create a highly compelling offer for students. With record numbers of students in the UK, increasing year on year, there remains a long-term structural shortage of well-located and well managed properties for students to live in.”

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