GCP Student Living to acquire Guildford student accommodation property

GCP Company has entered into a conditional forward purchase agreement to acquire a high specification, purpose-built, private student accommodation residence in the same locality as its Scape Surrey asset in Guildford.

Guildford is home to the University of Surrey (a UK top 20 university), the University of Law and the Academy of Contemporary Music. Guildford, like London, is structurally undersupplied in respect of private student residential accommodation.

The property is expected to be completed for the 2020/21 academic year providing 403 beds. It is ideally located for access to The University of Surrey with circa 16,000 students of whom 36 per cent are international students. It is also within walking distance of the Academy of Contemporary Music and Guildford town centre.

Once completed, the Group’s portfolio will include 544 beds in the same locality as the University of Surrey. This provides the opportunity to take advantage of operational economies of scale. The Company’s Scape Surrey asset has been fully occupied each year since its acquisition and has generated annual rental growth in excess of the portfolio average.

The acquisition of properties through future contractual arrangements, including forward purchase agreements, enables the Company to secure attractively located assets, in areas with few existing properties and scarce development opportunities, without incurring extensive development risk. The contractual terms also ensure that the assets are designed and developed in-line with the Company’s modern specifications.

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