International: Student Housing Lures Investors to Liverpool

Knight Frank has facilitated the sale of the student accommodation property Europa across the pond.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

Manish Gudka CEO of Aprirose
Manish Gudka, Aprirose

Knight Frank has facilitated the sale of the student accommodation property ‘Europa’ in Liverpool on behalf of Aprirose.

The company sold the asset to Knightsbridge Student Housing Ltd. for $56.7 million (£36.35 million), reflecting a net initial yield of 5.25 percent. The complex was developed by Watkin Jones Group in 2009.

The 127,951-square-foot purpose-built property is leased to Nicelook Ltd. and guaranteed by Watkin Jones on a term of 15 years. It provides a total income of about $3.1 million (£2.1 million) per year, and has been fully leased since construction. The 592-bedroom complex is located on Manfred Street, within close proximity to two Liverpool university campuses.

“In a stock-starved market, fixed lease student accommodation investment opportunities are keenly sought after and as such this sale attracted considerable interest,” Shaun Roy, partner, Capital Markets, Knight Frank said in a prepared statement.

Manish Gudka, CEO of Aprirose, added in a prepared statement that his company acquired the property in an off-market transaction in the middle of the recession. Aprirose was drawn by the asset’s stable income flows linked to inflation.

“We were motivated to dispose the investment as it provides us a strong return with a low risk profile and allows us the opportunity to look at more core plus and value add opportunities leveraging off our expanding asset management platform,” Gudka added.