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Student accommodation builder completes pre-sale of properties

Student accommodation builder completes pre-sale of properties

A student accommodation developer has sealed a £153 million deal for the presale of six new student accommodation projects it is building across the country.
 
Institutional investor Europa Generation, which exists with the express aim of investing in student property, has secured the projects being developed by Watkin Jones, a Welsh-based construction and development firm that was founded back in the 1790s, but has become a major player in the student accommodation sector in recent years. 
 
The largest of the projects is at Bailey fields in Sheffield, where the 543 units includes 457 clusters, 69 studios and 17 one-bed apartments. This is followed by Oxford House in Bournemouth, where the 486 units consists of 410 clusters and 76 studios, plus 32,205 sq ft of teaching space, commercial space and car parking. The third largest development is on Market Street in Newcastle with 225 beds, while the other projects, in Aberdeen, Oxford and Bath, have between 108 and 199 units.
 
Chief executive Mark Watkin Jones said: "The group has now forward-sold all of its developments that are planned for completion by September 2018. 
 
"In addition, with the Between Towns Road, Oxford development for delivery in 2019, the number of developments forward-sold for delivery before September 2019 has moved to 21, which represents 6,794 beds."
 
"This sale demonstrates that the group continues to benefit from having very strong and growing relationships with institutional investors."  
 
Since entering the student market in 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 25,000 units.
 
This latest development is another piece of good news for a firm that was recently able to boast half-year profits of £21.2 million for the first half of 2017, compared with a loss of £9.9 million over the same period in 2016.  
 
A key reason for the good results was the sale of seven student property developments for a combined total of £216 million.

Image: iStock

 

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