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APG Joins Forces with Scape

Posted by Richard Ward

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

One of the world's largest pension funds is to invest hundreds of millions of points into UK purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). APG, a Dutch base investor, is putting up around 75% of the cash in a £500m joint venture with Scape.

Scape is a leading provider in student accommodation and will use the funds to roll out more housing in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

Head of real estate at APG Asset Management, Robert-Jan Foortse, argued that UK student housing offers compelling investment opportunities that provide clients with long-term stable returns.

Institutional investors have been pouring into the sector as they see it as providing a reliable source of income compared to other asset classes.

Last year ten new investors entered the UK market and last week Greystar announced it have acquired five student schemes for £291m.

Tom Ward, Scape's founder and chief executive, suggested there is still a wall of capital looking for yield.

Scape already operates around 5,000 beds in the UK, with two0thirds of its tenants consisting of overseas students. The injection of cash from APG will allow the company to expand beyond London and make a foray into the mainstream rental market with a development in Guildford.

The bet by APG that international students will flock back to the sector once the pandemic is under control ties in with the latest stats from UCAS that showed significant growth in acceptances in 2020.