SPH sees $38.4m revaluation gain on UK student housing portfolio

SPH's student accommodation portfolio in Britain includes assets like the Asa Briggs House in Leeds. As of Aug 31, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has valued the portfolio, comprising 5,059 beds across 10 cities, at £361.2 million, givin
SPH's student accommodation portfolio in Britain includes assets like the Asa Briggs House in Leeds. As of Aug 31, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has valued the portfolio, comprising 5,059 beds across 10 cities, at £361.2 million, giving rise to a revaluation gain of £22.8 million.PHOTO: SPH

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has recorded a revaluation gain of 6.7 per cent, or £22.8 million (S$38.4 million) on its purpose-built student accommodation portfolio in Britain.

The gain comes within a year of the media and property group's expansion into the student accommodation sector, with an initial £180.5 million investment, it said in a statement on Monday.

On the back of further investments, the portfolio has grown to £338.4 million, comprising 5,059 beds across 10 cities in Britain.

The cities include Southampton, Sheffield and Leeds, where there are sizeable populations of full-time students.

As of Aug 31, real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield has valued the portfolio at £361.2 million, giving rise to a revaluation gain of £22.8 million.

SPH, which owns The Straits Times, expects the British student accommodation sector and overall investor interest in this area to remain strong, with up to £3.5 billion of investments likely to come in this year.

There were more than 560,000 applications for full-time undergraduate courses at British universities for the 2019/2020 academic year.

Nearly a fifth of these applicants were from outside Britain, a 5.7 per cent increase from last year, while applications from China rose 33.3 per cent, according to a Knight Frank report.

SPH said it has been boosting its operational expertise in the sector.

Marketing capabilities have been expanded with a centralised marketing and sales office in China to capitalise on the demand from Chinese students for higher education in Britain.

SPH has also taken over operations at a property in Lincoln in the English East Midlands for the upcoming academic year, with plans to progressively operate more assets over the course of the year.

SPH shares closed at $2.04 yesterday, up five cents or 2.5 per cent. The announcement was made after the market closed on Monday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2019, with the headline 'SPH sees $38.4m revaluation gain on UK student housing portfolio'. Print Edition | Subscribe