Major deal and venture highlights demand for European PBSA

A new venture will see three companies focus on funding for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and young professional accommodation in Paris.

Paris region, France - PBSA
Paris region, France - PBSA

Global real estate institutional investment companies Ivanhoé Cambridge Holdings UK Ltd (Ivanhoé Cambridge) and Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors (Bouwinvest) and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC have launched a ‘develop-to-core’ venture – ‘Paris Student and Young Professionals Accommodation Venture’ – with €1bn investment capacity. 

The objective of the venture is funding for new acquisitions and the development of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) and young professional accommodation – including ground-up developments and projects under construction in the Greater Paris Region. The initial pipeline is due for completion over the coming months and Greystar will operationally manage the venture.

“Greater Paris and coliving markets for student and young professionals are major growth areas for our European strategy. At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis is accelerating trends towards more premium flexible products and services in key locations.

“We believe this is the right time as the ’alternative’ housing market is well positioned with these trends and Paris is highly attractive given its higher-education institutions, while there is a significant growing demand for student housing.”

Karim Habra, Head of Europe & Asia-Pacific, Ivanhoé Cambridge

The venture will focus on delivering best-in-class PBSA and young professional accommodation. It will include amenities and services, with a preference for locations with exposure to the Greater Paris public transport projects. This focus is aligned with the shareholders strategy in other major European cities – London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna – focusing on hubs with stable employment and long-term persistent rental housing demand. 

“The fundamentals of the student and young professional market are very robust. Demand for high quality – but affordable – housing from student populations in metropolitan areas around the world remains strong. We have already invested in this segment in the Netherlands and Australia, and via this new joint venture are now broadening our exposure and diversifying our allocation to France.”

Robert Koot, Director European Investments, Bouwinvest

The venture will leverage Greystar’s almost 30 years of expertise in rental housing (conventional multifamily, student and senior living) in more than thirteen countries – and its global investment management platform, enabling the venture to use this global knowledge while specifically tailoring its accommodation and services to local requirements. 

“We have been active in France for close to two years and have built a successful portfolio of owned and managed assets across the country. Our new venture with Ivanhoé Cambridge and Bouwinvest will give us significant fire power to deliver on our plans to utilise our expertise in investing, developing and operating high quality student accommodation assets across the world – to build a highly amenitised portfolio from the ground up in an underserved global city with strong market fundamentals. 

“Paris is home to a number of world-class employers and higher education institutions and famously has a vibrant culture that attracts both domestic and international students to study. Coupled with the city’s ambitious public transport programme, which will further improve connections across Paris, there is no better time to get this venture off the ground.”

Hideki Kurata, Managing Director – France, Greystar