In February 2014, the Group diversified into the Student Accommodation Business with its maiden acquisition of RMIT Village, a student accommodation with 456 beds located in Melbourne, Australia. The Group further scaled up its Student Accommodation portfolio with the acquisition of three student accommodation assets in Manchester and one in Liverpool, with a total of 1,901 beds, in the United Kingdom in September 2014. In May 2015, we won a tender to operate our first student accommodation in Singapore. dwell Selegie started to welcome students in October 2015.
As at 31 December 2017, the Group operates a portfolio of eight quality PBSA assets in the UK. The Group’s eight assets have a total bed capacity of c.2,420 beds, and are located in the established education precincts of Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Bristol which provide easy access to the cities’ main university campuses and the city centres. Renowned universities are located within a walking distance or close proximity to these student accommodation assets, which comprise studio, three to seven-bedroom apartments/townhouses.
In November 2017, the Group announced the successful closure of its inaugural student housing private fund, the Centurion US Student Housing Fund, which acquired six freehold PBSA assets in the US. The six assets acquired – dwell Statesider, dwell Tenn Street, dwell Towers on State, dwell College & Crown, dwell Logan Square and dwell Stadium view – are located in five states including Connecticut, Florida, Alabama, Texas and Wisconsin, and primarily cater to first tier universities.
Besides enhancing and redeveloping these assets, the Group plans to explore more student accommodation opportunities in Australia and other key educational hubs. The Group’s student accommodation assets are managed under the ‘dwell’ brand.
The Group will continue to explore further opportunities for this new area of growth.