UK-focused real estate fund manager Moorfield has partnered with We Are Kin to invest £50m (€57.4m) in student houses.

Moorfield said the newly formed partnership has been seeded with a £10m property portfolio of more than 200 beds located in UK university cities including Liverpool, Lincoln and Lancaster.

The venture plans to grow this initial portfolio to over 1,000 beds typically in houses of 5-8 students, beginning with a focus on the Midlands and North.

Moorfield, investing on behalf of its Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV fund is the majority investor in the venture, and We Are Kin is primarily responsible for acquisitions and operating the portfolio.

We Are Kin was launched last year in partnership with Young, the specialists in forming asset-backed investment partnerships in the living sector.

Ross Netherway, the head of origination at Moorfield, said: “Despite the current disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain focused on the student accommodation sector and are confident that student numbers will continue to grow over the next decade.

“This partnership presents an opportunity for us to diversify our exposure in the sector, as part of our ongoing ‘beds’ investment strategy, and enables us to accelerate the professionalisation of a significant yet overlooked area of the market.”

Neil Young, investment chair at Young and chairman of We Are KIN, said: “Creating the student shared living sector was something Young first explored in 2019. So, launching We Are Kin in 2020 and now partnering with Moorfield so soon is really exciting.

”Throughout my time in the living sector, we have aimed to dramatically improve the offer for the consumer. Redefining the house in multiple occupation market has always interested me, and we now intend to materially disrupt this sector, which is currently dominated by amateur landlords, but which has huge institutional potential.

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