International leader and pioneer in student housing – Global Student Accommodation (GSA)– announces the acquisition of a US student housing portfolio from Harrison Street – for over 8,100 beds. This is the second portfolio successfully acquired by GSA within 12 months of its US market entry in December 2020.
Stretching East to West coast, the acquired portfolio sits across 10 states and 12 cities and doubles the size of GSA’s presence in North America. The acquisition reinforces GSA’s strategic plan for selective growth across the US and reflects the wider business plan to further diversify geographically and increase assets under management in the largest student market in the world.
The business is well placed to capture the continuing and growing demand for higher education, with the sector yet again proving its resilience as the world emerges from these unprecedented times.
“The large-scale portfolio transaction not only presents a unique opportunity for GSA to expand its footprint across the United States, but also furthers the deep and longstanding relationship between our two firms.”Barrett Lowell, Head of Education & Multi-Family, Asset Management, Harrison Street
GSA specialises in all aspects of the sector and continues to successfully grow its presence in key educational cities globally. Its strong underwriting capabilities, reputation and expertise allow GSA to identify opportunities that deliver premium returns to investors.
All properties are positioned in prime locations close to large universities with five of the properties situated next to Power-5 schools in Alabama, Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Kentucky. The portfolio is over 93% occupied and has a strong track record of consistent rental growth across all locations. GSA has identified further rehabilitation and design improvements to ensure sustainable growth continues.
“We are delighted to secure our second major asset acquisition in the US market. This opportunity perfectly aligns with our investment growth strategy, allowing us to capitalise on current market conditions while strengthening our portfolio to deliver sustainable investor returns.
“As a leading global specialist in student housing, we have the talent and capability to identify significant opportunity and value in assessing transactions. Our expert team has over thirty years of sector experience and together with operating partner Yugo, our strong customer proposition delivers inclusive environmentally and socially conscious living spaces for our students”.James Hunt, Managing Director Real Estate, Global Student Accommodation
GSA’s operating partner, Yugo, will provide management and oversight of the portfolio. Yugo has a student-led approach and is a key differentiator for GSA in the US student housing market, that provides living experiences to ensure students’ intellectual, personal and professional growth is supported.
The overall transaction was brokered on the sell-side by Institutional Property Advisors. Building on GSA’s existing relationship, Wells Fargo Bank, National Association provided financing for the whole senior loan position arranged by TSB Capital Advisors, with legal and tax advice provided by Greenberg Traurig for GSA.