Round Hill Capital is buying a 12,800sqm site in Madrid for its first purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development in Spain.

The specialist real estate investor said the 500-bed scheme in the Aravaca district is expected to ready for occupation for the 2023/24 academic year. Nido Student, the specialist PBSA brand, will operate the development upon completion.

The deal marks Round Hill Capital’s 23rd PBSA investment in continental Europe, bringing its current portfolio to over 9,590 beds, the manager said.

Round Hill said it is actively seeking further investments in Spain as it looks to ”build on its expansive portfolio across the continent, having identified significant supply/demand imbalances in high-quality student accommodation” in the Spanish market.

Michael Bickford, founder and CEO at Round Hill Capital, said: “We are delighted to announce our latest European PBSA investment, further establishing Round Hill’s reputation as the leading PBSA investor across the continent.

“There is an undersupply of high-quality student accommodation in Madrid and this real estate infrastructure is critical for attracting students to the city who will support its continued development and the attraction of foreign investment.”

Bickford said although Covid-19 presents short-term challenges, student accommodation is a defensive countercyclical long-term real estate investment.

“Previous recessions have shown demand for education remains strong, as students tend to invest more in their education when jobs markets are more competitive.”

Russell Petrie, head of student accommodation of Round Hill Capital said the company continues to see strong opportunities to invest in and develop institutional PBSA assets in the European market and beyond, and looks forward to announcing new investments in the near future.

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