UK - Rockspring Property Investment Managers has entered the student accommodation market for the first time with the acquisition of 123 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, in a joint venture with Mansion Group.
The £14.2m (€16.2m) acquisition was made on behalf of the Rockspring UK Value Fund and is the fund's tenth investment since it was launched in February with capital from institutional investors, including Denmark's AP Pension.
Rockspring said the move into student housing was identified as being consistent with a "counter-cyclical" strategy, based on the assumption higher-education housing provided a relatively stable and secure market.
The fund has not pre-determined geographical or sector allocation, enabling a flexible approach to acquisitions.
Rockspring said it was aiming to take advantage of a supply-demand imbalance whereby demand for high-quality student accommodation was steadily increasing while availability remained low.
Richard Bains, manager for the Rockspring UK Value Fund, said: "The acquisition of the Fountainbridge site represents a good opportunity for us to exploit the rapidly developing student accommodation market, while the asset itself provides significant potential for asset management.
"We are keen to carry out a considerable refurbishments programme at the property, which should enable us to deliver further returns to investors."
Joint venture partner Mansion Group is a specialist student accommodation developer with 11 projects across the UK.
Rockspring hopes the partnership can add significant value to the asset, with Mansion Group overseeing a planned refurbishment programme and providing ongoing management services.
Andrew Freeth, director of The Mansion Group, said: "Through our joint venture with Rockspring, we are able to continue our strategy of acquiring well-located student accommodation sites that offer opportunities to add value through active asset management."
The development is located in Edinburgh's city centre and is less than 10 minutes' walk to the city's main shopping area and the Haymarket train station.
The purpose-built development, which was constructed in the mid 1990s, is arranged over five floors and provides 278 bedrooms.
These are divided into flats consisting of five beds, a kitchen, living room and either one or two bathrooms.
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