Global alternative asset manager – Brookfield – has made its first investment in the student accommodation sector in Australia, striking a joint venture with integrated property business Citiplan. The joint venture has acquired a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development site directly opposite the University of Melbourne.
The acquisition of the initial site signals Brookfield’s acceleration into alternative real estate assets in Australia after it acquired seniors living business Aveo in 2019.
Brookfield and Citiplan intend to work together to build a platform of high-quality student accommodation managed by Journal Student Living. The platform aims to deliver high-quality PBSA assets in key gateway locations around Australia and New Zealand.
“The thematics driving student housing are strong as we move into a post-Covid environment. There has been significant growth in international student enrolments over the past ten years, driven by a burgeoning Asian middle class who view Australia as an attractive studying location, and we expect growth to rebound in the coming years.
“In 2019, Australia had the second-highest number of enrolled international students globally, with limited high-quality purpose-built student accommodation in Australia’s capital cities relative to other global education hubs. Given the headwinds the sector has faced through Covid-19, we see this as a highly favourable environment to aggregate sites that will only be delivered once the market has normalised. We are very pleased to partner with Citiplan and look forward to continuing to grow the Journal Student Living brand.”Ruban Kaneshamoorthy, Head of Real Estate Investments, Brookfield
The joint venture will build on Brookfield’s US$7.4bn global student accommodation business, with 197 assets – containing over 55,000 beds across Europe and the United States, including businesses Scion Group and Student Roost.