Student rooms developer Unite moves into build to rent

Unite Students has acquired 180 Stratford, a 178-unit purpose-built build-to-rent complex for £71m and now plans a major refurbishment of the high-rise scheme.

The acquisition and refurbishment will be funded from the proceeds of recent student block disposals.

The property is expected to produce a yield on cost of 4.3% following the planned refurbishment starting next year.

The refurbishment will incorporate a rolling upgrade of the existing residential units, the creation of new amenity space and the addition of seven new residential units.

Unite said the investment would allow it to test its operational capability to extend its accommodation offer to young professionals and retain them as customers as they move on to the next stage in their lives.

Unite already operates 1,700 student beds and has two further student developments in its secured pipeline in Stratford alone.

The acquisition of 180 Stratford will increase Unite’s scale in the Stratford market to around 3,700 beds. 

Richard Smith, Unite Students Chief Executive Officer, said: “As previously outlined, we believe that there is an exciting opportunity to grow our platform in the wider living sector by catering to the growing number of young professional renters living in major UK cities.

“We already serve this market through the 9,000 postgraduate students who live with us each year.

“This pilot BTR investment offers the opportunity to test our operational capability in the sector and understand the potential synergies with our student business.”

 

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