Unite Students acquires 800-bed PBSA scheme in Glasgow

To help ease the shortage of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in Glasgow, Unite Students has acquired a new development.

Unite Students has acquired a new PBSA site in the undersupplied city of Glasgow | PBSA News

Owner, manager, and developer of student accommodation Unite Students has recently announced that it has entered an option agreement to acquire a scheme in central Glasgow, subject to planning.

Glasgow is home to three educational institutions within the UK’s top 75 universities, and increases Unite’s portfolio in the city to 3,000 beds.

With the new 800-bed development, Unite aim to further help address the acute shortage of student accommodation in Glasgow.

The developer expects to deliver the scheme as a university partnership with at least half of the beds to be let on a multi-year nominations agreement to a leading university.

The scheme has a total development cost of £95m and is expected to deliver a yield on cost of around 7.5%.

Planning approval is targeted during H1 2024, enabling delivery for the 2026/27 academic year, with the company expecting to fund the project from capital recycling through disposals.  

“Our latest development will create new supply of high quality, affordable student accommodation in Glasgow to support the continued growth of our university partners. We are also making good progress in delivering the two new developments funded from the proceeds of our recent capital raise. Our development pipeline now totals 5,600 beds in the strongest university cities, as we work to address the urgent need for new student housing at a time when the private rental sector is in retreat.”

Michael Burt, Group Investment Director, Unite Students

Unite currently has a strong development pipeline.  

Good progress is being made on the delivery of the Morriss House scheme in Nottingham, which is expected to reach practical completion in August and is fully let for the 2023/24 academic year.  

Following the company’s £300m equity issue, work has started on-site at the Temple Quarter development in Bristol.  

The planning process for Meridian Square in Stratford is also progressing in line with expectations, with approval targeted in Q4 2023.