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Student accommodation

Cordea Savills completes disposal of Student Hall Fund

Cordea Savills has completed the disposal of the firm’s Student Hall Fund to the Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF) for GBP137 million.

The Cordea Savills Student Hall Fund was a pioneer in the student sector being the first pooled investment vehicle to attract UK institutional money to the sector.
Launched as a closed-ended fund in 2006 with an eight year life, the portfolio comprises 2,904 bedrooms, across nine assets in cities including Edinburgh, Bath, Bristol, Loughborough, Leeds and Birmingham.
The income profile provides a diversified blend of leases, nomination agreements and direct let assets.
The purchaser, USAF, is an open-ended infinite life vehicle that purely focuses on student accommodation investment assets.  
James Whidborne, portfolio manager at Cordea Savills, says: “Following a strong marketing campaign, the sale of the Student Hall Fund has allowed Cordea Savills to take advantage of a buoyant market.  Despite recent increases in tuition fees, the sector has remained robust and the Fund’s original investment thesis has proved correct. The portfolio has provided our investors with both a strong income return and liquidity within its defined eight year investment horizon. Cordea Savills is comfortable that now is a good time to exit but will maintain a watching brief over the sector.”
Mark Allan, CEO of Unite Students, says: “We are delighted that USAF has been able to complete this important acquisition from Cordea Savills. The combination of Unite's existing operational presence across the country, USAF's financial capacity and the group's position as lessee on two highly reversionary assets means that a combination of Unite and USAF is uniquely well placed to unlock the potential of an excellent regional portfolio.”

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