Student accommodation giant GSA Group has returned to the Australian market with a target to establish 25,000 beds under its management within the next decade.
The British developer and operator initially entered the local market in 2007, establishing the Urbanest platform which has a 4000-bed portfolio across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
In late 2014, GSA, founded by Nicholas Porter, sold out its stake to MS Capital Partners, one of its original backers in the Australian platform.
Twelve months later, it is back under its own banner as investment surges into the sector.
GSA has opened a Sydney office and already has a number of sites under offer, Simon Loveridge, the managing director for its Asia Pacific arm, told The Australian Financial Review.
According to GSA, there is a chronic lack of supply in the student accommodation sector in Australia, which will worsen over the next 10 years as more international students enrol.
Purpose-built student accommodation represents only 10 per cent of the total student accommodation market.
"We are delighted to announce the continued growth of our Asia Pacific business, with the launch of our new Australian business," Mr Loveridge said.
"The UK student accommodation market saw record transaction levels last year, with more than $US7 billion ($9.68 billion) of assets transacted in the sector.
"We see that Australia has all of the market fundamentals to develop into a more institutional-grade asset class, given the world-leading universities, real estate market and the large and growing international student population."
via - http://www.afr.com/real-estate/residential/british-student-digs-giant-gsa-is-back-in-the-market-20160224-gn273q