123 Fountainbridge, an Edinburgh student accommodation hub, has been sold for £24m by Gatehouse Bank on behalf of investors.
The site has been purchased by Unite Students Accommodation Fund (USAF), which already owns four other student properties in the city including The Old Printworks and Sugarhouse Close.
Located close to the University of Edinburgh’s main campus and a 10 minute walk to Haymarket Station, 123 Fountainbridge provides 331 student bedrooms arranged across 57 cluster flats and is 100% let for the 2017/2018 academic year.
The property was acquired in 2015 and after driving net operating income forwards the Bank on behalf of its investors have opted to capitalise on the strong demand within the student accommodation investment market by appointing Cushman & Wakefield to market the property for sale in Q4 2017.
Interest in the building was strong according to Calum Cowe, Associate at Cushman & Wakefield.
He said: “We had a number of enquiries about 123 Fountainbridge from a variety of potential buyers including overseas investors, specialist student accommodation operators and property companies, with several credible bids at the closing date.
“This testifies to the current strength of investor demand for affordable, purpose built student accommodation in Edinburgh city centre, due to the solid market fundamentals and rental growth seen within the sector.”
Cushman & Wakefield’s UK Student Accommodation Report 2017/2018 shows en-suite rents in Edinburgh increased by 3% in 2017 to £144 per week, reinforcing the strength of investment potential in student accommodation in the city.
Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank said: “We are pleased to have reached a successful exit of 123 Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. Through Gatehouse Bank’s active asset management approach, the investment has delivered substantial returns to investors and further underlines our asset management capabilities and value-creation strategy. Over the three year hold, the active management of the property has resulted in an increase in net operating income year on year.”
Cushman & Wakefield and Shepherd & Wedderburn advised the seller on the transaction.
Buchanan Bond and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang advised the purchaser.