American Campus Communities Acquires GMH

Student housing REIT American Campus Communities Inc. has agreed to the purchase of GMH Communities Trust.Under terms of the deal, American Campus will take gain control of GMH’s student housing portfolio, which was all that remained of the firm’s holdings after the $350 million selloff of its military housing portfolio in early May to Balfour Beatty Group , as reported by CPN.At the same time the purchase was announced, American Campus Communities also announced the formation of a joint venture with Fidelity Real Estate Group. The joint venture will take on 15 GMH student housing properties, valued at approximately $326 million. American Campus Communities will assume management responsibilities for the properties, and will own a minority share of the venture. With the purchase, American Campus Committees owns or has a minority ownership stake in a total of 109 student housing properties.“We believe the application of our premier management systems will unlock the operational upside of the GMH portfolio,” American Campus CEO Bill Bayless said in a statement today.Student housing is a developing market, with higher percentages of Americans choosing to attend college than in previous years. Studies have indicated that an additional 1.6 million Americans will attend college over the next 15 years, and the increased number of college applications received by admissions departments serve as evidence of these projections. As the last members of Generation Y enter college, the student housing market is expected to boom, with both renovations of older facilities and construction of new buildings.