Catella European Student Housing Fund II makes acquisitions in Linz, Paris and Seville

Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) has significantly expanded the portfolio of the Catella European Student Housing Fund II (CESHF II) with three acquisitions of student residences in Austria, France and Spain totalling EUR55 million.

Following the transactions, the Fund has an investment volume of approximately EUR100 million in four European countries just five months after the Fund’s launch in September 2019. CESHF II is the successor of Catella’s first European Student Housing Fund which has generated a net internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 7 per cent a year since its launch in 2013.

Alexander Brüning, Fund Manager at CRIM, says: “Student housing has increasingly developed into an established asset class in the last 10 years and our first pan-European student housing fund has enabled us to deliver strong annual returns for our investors. Education is becoming an economic factor worldwide, and the number of students, both nationally and internationally, continues to rise significantly. Across Europe, roughly only 10% of students have access to a dedicated student apartment. Affordable dorms in good locations therefore offer investors stable, largely anti-cyclical returns.”
In Austria, CESHF II has bought an eight-storey building comprising a rentable area of 5,622 sq m in Linz, an important university location and the state capital of Upper Austria, from a local entrepreneur. Dating from 2015, the property comprises a total of 224 rooms or 129 apartments spread over eight full floors excluding the basement. With 206,895 inhabitants, Linz is the third largest city in Austria after Vienna and Graz and the centre of the second largest agglomeration in the country with a population of 789,811. The city’s universities, educational institutions and technical colleges offer an extremely broad range of courses which attracted around 24,000 students to the city in the 2018/2019 winter semester.
In France, the Fund has acquired a property with a rentable area of 4,757 sq m in Évry, about 25 km southeast of Paris, for around EUR20 million from a well-known local project developer, IMODEV. The building comprises a total of 242 student apartments, largely one-person studios, spread over the upper eight to 10 floors. The complex represents the future generation of student housing concepts with several common rooms, a cafeteria, cardio workout rooms, co-working spaces and a reception with a lounge. In addition, the property boasts a 143 sqm terrace, a 500 sq m community garden, an inner courtyard and 87 parking spaces. Évry is the largest municipality in the Île-de-France region with almost 700,000 inhabitants and several well-known universities. The complex will be developed and managed by Sergic Residences and located within a 10-minute walk from the main university, close to a shopping centre and a railway station with a RER D regional link to the centre of Paris.
In Seville, the Fund has acquired a property with 196 student apartments for 211 beds comprising a total gross floor area of 5,132 sq m above ground, divided over five floors, for around EUR15 million from a well-known local project developer. The majority – or 181 - of the apartments are individual rooms and the complex offer also a 60 sq m fully-equipped roof terrace, an exterior common swimming pool and 32 parking spaces located in the underground garage. Seville is the capital of the southern province of Andalusia and, with almost 700,000 inhabitants, the fourth biggest city in the country after Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. Seville is also one of the leading university cities in Spain with four universities and approximately 75,000 students.
Alexander Brüning, who recently joined CRIM as Fund Manager, has many years of experience in management positions in the investment and real estate industry, as well as in advising institutional clients. He has specialised in real estate mandates for wealthy private clients, foundations, family offices, insurance companies, pension funds and pension funds. Before joining CRIM, he worked for the German subsidiary of Italian insurer Generali, French insurer Société Générale Group and as managing director of a Hamburg-based project developer and special fund initiator. Most recently he served at the GBI Group as a consultant.