IP Investment Management (IPIM) and Heed Capital (formerly Dunas Capital) have made their first acquisition in Portugal – a student housing development in Porto. The joint venture between the Iberian Student Living (SF-1) in Singapore and Iberian Student Living – FCR in Portugal – the Funds – will be managed and advised by IPIM with Amro Partners as the developer and operator.
Funds from the new joint venture will target three to four pipeline purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) acquisitions in Portugal and Spain over the next 12 to 24 months as an early mover to capitalise on the highly underdeveloped Iberian student housing market.
“Heed Capital is excited to enter this underdeveloped and promising market segment with the right partners. As Portugal’s attractiveness to international students continues to grow, we expect to be well positioned.”Joaquim Luiz Gomes, Founder and Managing Director, Heed Capital
The 4,000 sqm buildable plot in the Paranhos area of Porto is located within the city’s main university hub, Polo II University Campus (Asprela), which is home to over 35,000 students. Five higher education institutions are situated within a five to 15 minutes’ walk: the University of Porto, University Fernando Pessoa, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Catholic University of Porto and Portucalense University.
The acquired scheme will include 151 student beds – a mix of individual studios, twodios, ensuites and doubles. Amenities include a study room, terraces, gym, MasterChef room, padel court and outdoor green areas.
Construction is scheduled to begin during Q1 2022 with the completed development launching in summer 2023 under Amro Estudiantes – Amro’s student housing brand in Iberia. The development will be designed to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating, making it a highly energy efficient PBSA building on completion.
“Our expansion into Portugal is a natural next step following a string of successful acquisitions in Spain since we entered the Iberia market in 2018. The student housing sector has proved itself to be resilient over the last twelve months and the significant undersupply of student beds across the region is creating tremendous potential for growth. We remain focused on growing our presence in the region, with a pipeline of further acquisitions to be announced over the next few months.”Raj Kotecha, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Amro Partners
Iberian Student Living – FCR is the first fund qualifying as an investment for the Portuguese Golden Visa programme that focuses solely on investing in PBSA. The Iberian PBSA market is largely underdeveloped and underserved as students have experienced a chronic shortage of professionally managed PBSA product. There are 21 students for every existing PBSA bed in Portugal and 15 students for every existing PBSA bed in Spain – a stark contrast to the more developed UK PBSA market, where there are 2.9 students for every existing PBSA bed.
The Iberian PBSA market is also very fragmented with no clear dominant PBSA market leader – as the top five largest players operate only 9% to 13% of Iberia’s total PBSA supply. Specifically, Heed Capital’s fund seeks to capitalise on a rare unique opportunity to enter the Iberian PBSA market early – and with experienced developers – to gain meaningful market share as an early mover.
“One bed available for every 21 students. 2.36x absolute growth in international student enrolment over 10 years. These are some compelling stats that have attracted institutional investors to invest in Portugal’s purpose-built student accommodation sector, one of IPIM’s target European markets.
“Portugal presents a huge growth opportunity and currently resembles the UK PBSA market nearly 10 years ago. IPIM, as an early mover, seeks to take advantage of a highly fragmented market, ripe with opportunities to deliver modern high-quality student beds to a fundamentally underserved and undersupplied market while also having the potential to capture meaningful market share early.”Selina Williams, Executive Director, IPIM