Coral Sells Two Student Housing Schemes To Blackrock For £50 Million

London, 18 December 2013 – Advised by CBRE, the Coral Student Portfolio (“Coral”), a fund that invests in student accommodation funds and joint ventures, has sold two student housing developments to the BlackRock UK Property Fund for £50 million. Both disposals see Coral realise a significant equity return, even after the repayment of debt.

The two properties, located at Alma Road, Coventry and Aston Webb Boulevard, Birmingham, comprise 405 and 434 beds of student accommodation respectively. The sale follows on from Coral’s initial investment in the developments less than 18 months ago, and both schemes are already fully occupied.

Lawrence Frampton, co-fund manager of the Coral Student Portfolio, commented:

“We are delighted with this sale to BlackRock, not least because we believed it was a good time for us to prove value and realise our development profit of over 30% on both properties. Interest from an institution of BlackRock’s calibre is proof that the student housing sector remains an incredibly compelling investment proposition, whether via university leases or direct lets.”

Andrew Smith of CBRE’s Real Estate Finance team, added:

“According to our latest research, the number of international students in the UK will grow by 15 – 20 per cent over the next five years, resulting in reliably high occupancy and rental growth in the right areas. We are seeing an increasing number of both international and domestic investors looking to access UK student stock which is increasing liquidity in the market.

“Coral is committed to continuing its investment in quality locations with strong supply and demand characteristics. We are working with them to actively source similar opportunities for Coral to invest alongside established operators and developers.”

Paul Tebbit, Director, BlackRock UK Property Fund, commented:

“We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of two high-quality, new-build assets, which have already proven their strong letting credentials and have the potential for rental growth off a low base level. As a fund we are very comfortable managing operational risk to achieve outperformance and these investments add to our existing ‘alternative’ asset holdings of marinas and doctor’s surgeries. We will look to further expand our investment in the direct-let student sector and are very pleased to align ourselves with a best-in-class operator in Victoria Hall”

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