M&G European Property Fund boosts residential exposure with EUR63m Italian student housing deal

M&G is to finance the development of a EUR63 million purpose-built student accommodation scheme in central Turin.

The forward funding has been agreed on behalf of the EUR4.2 billion M&G European Property Fund — managed by David Jackson and Simon Ellis — and is in line with the Fund’s objective to increase its residential exposure in Continental Europe.

The 582-bed scheme is M&G’s second investment in purpose built student accommodation in Italy — following the forward funding of a 513-bed student accommodation asset in Bologna in November 2020. With more than 100,000 students and a limited supply of quality accommodation, the fundamentals and future growth prospects for Turin’s student accommodation market are strong thanks to continued resilient domestic and international demand.
 
Located in Turin’s lively Cenisia district, the five-storey building is a short walk away from ‘Politecnico di Torino’ University and Porta Susa railway station. In line with M&G Real Estate’s core focus on sustainability and environmental excellence, the property will be powered by environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems, regenerating energy through photovoltaic roof panels, and will include charging points for electric cars and bicycles. The project, which Stonehill Group is developing, is set to receive a LEED Gold rating and will be ready for occupation in time for the 2023/24 academic year.
 
From a health and wellbeing perspective, students will benefit from the creation of a new, 8,500 sq m public park and a further 600 sq m of amenities including a resident lounge, shared kitchens, cinema, gym, yoga studio and study rooms.
 
David Jackson comments: “Italy’s student accommodation sector offers strong market fundamentals and attractive projected income returns, with a higher entry yield than many other jurisdictions currently.
 
“This acquisition builds on the Fund’s existing student accommodation asset in Bologna, and is in line with our strategic objective to increase our exposure to the broader living sector across Continental Europe, including student accommodation, the private rented sector and senior living.” 
 
Gabriele Inglese, Associate Director, M&G Real Estate, Italy, adds: “Turin brings M&G’s total real estate commitment to Italy — a key market where we are growing our on-the-ground presence — to more than EUR620 million across its European fund range.
 
“Italy is one of the top EU countries for attracting international students; cities with globally-recognised universities and a constrained supply of private rented accommodation like Turin provide excellent prospects for continued growth.”
 
M&G’s Continental European real estate offices are located in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Stockholm.