Urbanest Looks to Double Its London Portfolio

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Urbanest, the student accommodation developer, has completed a £350m refinancing deal, which will allow it to push forward and expand its London portfolio.

The company plans to nearly double its London presence and has refinanced its properties with funds managed by M&G Investments and Aviva Investors Real Estate Finance.

The new financing facilities replacing three existing loans and is secured against Urbanest's 2,520-bed portfolio based in London, which includes student accommodation in Westminster and King's Cross.

Typically, the company has decided to target wealthier students who are prepared to pay a premium for added facilities located within their accommodation. For example, Urbanest's Westminster development comes with a top-floor lounge with views across the River Thames, as well as a gym, health studio, swimming pool and sauna.

With five schemes already in place the company is currently building at sixth based in Vauxhall but plans to increase its London portfolio to 5,000 beds over the next five years.

Despite industry concerns regarding the UK's decision to leave the EU and the impact this could have on international student numbers, finance director Vicky Skinner said the company was confident about the current market. She said: "securing long-date, fixed-rate finance at an attractive point in the market cycle was a core objective of Urbanest, as the business continues to invest in the existing portfolio and explore opportunities for expansion."

The company expects that its partnership with the UK's top universities will ensure that it's shielded from most of the changes to EU studying arrangements.