Mapletree acquires more student housing assets in US

Latest deal with Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors takes its total portfolio in US to 17

Property group Mapletree Investments has acquired another cluster of eight student housing assets from Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, taking its total portfolio in the United States to 17, the company said yesterday.

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 the Temasek Holdings-owned company.

Mapletree acquired seven housing assets from Kayne real estate in November last year and another three last month. Together, all three transactions are worth about US$1.6 billion (S$2.2 billion), representing one of the largest transactions in student housing globally, the company said in a statement.

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 globally."

All of Mapletree's student housing assets abut university campuses, such as the WaHu student accommodation near the University of Minnesota.
All of Mapletree's student housing assets abut university campuses, such as the WaHu student accommodation near the University of Minnesota. PHOTO: MAPLETREE INVESTMENTS

Mr Hiew noted that 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."

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 the Asia-Pacific, the UK and US.

As of March, it owns and manages $39.5 billion comprising office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential, corporate housing, serviced apartment and student-housing properties.

Separately, Mapletree has acquired an office in central Tokyo for about US$300 million, according to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Mapletree bought Shinagawa Seaside South Tower from Elliott Management Corp last month, the wire agency reported yesterday.

Under Elliott, the occupancy rate of the building rose to about 95 per cent from about 50 per cent, the person said.

On Wednesday, Mapletree reported a 46.5 per cent jump in net profit to a record high of $1.41 billion.

Revenue for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose 23.9 per cent to $2.33 billion, while recurring net profit jumped 21.6 per cent to $643.6 million.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story said Ms Grace Lee, a spokesman for Mapletree, confirmed the Tokyo transaction. Ms Lee has clarified that she is not the company's official spokesman, and that the company has not confirmed the transaction. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 03, 2017, with the headline 'Mapletree acquires more student housing assets in US'. Print Edition | Subscribe