Foreign Free for All

Posted by Kristina Murkett

Foreign investment continues to dominate the London student accommodation market. Earlier this month, Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman was behind a £61m purchase of a student accommodation block in Southwark, whilst a US investor has splashed out over £600m on a luxury student accommodation portfolio.

Greystar Real Estate Partners' purchases include properties in King's Cross, Notting Hill, and Spitalfields - where weekly rents can be as much as £474. Bob Faith, founder and chief executive of Greystar, said the assets provide students in London with the 'absolute finest level of accommodation to live, study and socialize.' Indeed they do - most of his properties include gyms, cinemas, kaoroke rooms and bars.

His company bought the 2735 beds from Nido London, whose investors include the Coral Student Portfolio, and overseas stakeholders advised by Cusrzon Land and Round Hill Capital. The deal comes almost 3 years after the Round Hill Capital acquired the portfolio from Blackstone for £415m.

It is not only the giants of America and Russia who are cashing in - last week, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said it agreed to pay £1.1 billion for Liberty Living, which owns residences consisting of 16'700 student rooms in 17 university towns in Britain. At the same time, LetterOne, a Luxembourg investment fund, agreed to acquire Pure Student Living for £523m, which currently owns 2170 rooms across 5 sites in central London.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons.