Property group Mapletree acquires more student housing assets in US

WaHu student accommodation is located in close proximity to University of Minnesota in the United States.
WaHu student accommodation is located in close proximity to University of Minnesota in the United States.PHOTO: MAPLETREE INVESTMENTS
4th Street Commons offers 562 beds and excellent amenities for students studying in Florida, Miami.
4th Street Commons offers 562 beds and excellent amenities for students studying in Florida, Miami.PHOTO: MAPLETREE INVESTMENTS

SINGAPORE - Property group Mapletree Investments has acquired another cluster of eight student housing assets from Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, taking its total portfolio in United States to 17, the company said on Friday (June 2).

The newly acquired assets, which include 3,611 beds in the US and 140 beds in Canada, as well as four multi-family assets with 1,388 units in the US, will be the third acquisition from Kayne Anderson real estate by Mapletree.

Earlier Mapletree had acquired seven housing assets from Kayne real estate in November 2016, and another three in May 2017. Together, all three transactions are worth approximately US$1.6 billion (S$2.21 billion),representing one of the largest transactions in student housing globally, the company said in a release.

All the student housing assets are purpose-built and abut university campuses with a strong occupancy rate of above 90 per cent, the company said. They are positioned for further growth as the majority have been completed over the last three years.

"Since 2016, Mapletree has expanded into the student housing asset class on a global scale as it generates stable and consistent earnings. We have been able to grow our portfolio through a number of sizeable acquisitions in the United Kingdom and the US," said Mapletree group chief executive officer Hiew Yoon Khong. "We will continue to grow our current portfolio further globally."

Mr Hiew said growing university enrolment rates continue to drive demand for student housing. "This sector is still under-served and we see opportunities as there is a gap between enrolment and total supply of purpose-built student housing. We intend to scale up in this sector globally including in Australia and continental Europe, aside from the UK and the US," he added.

Mapletree now has a total student housing portfolio comprising 43 assets with 18,024 beds located across 29 cities in the US, Canada and the UK, including assets held by its Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust.

Mapletree manages four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and six private equity real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Asia Pacific, the UK and the United States. As of March 2017, it owns and manages S$39.5 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential, corporate housing and serviced apartment, and student housing properties.