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Huge £150m investment into student renting by financial services giant

Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc, has spent some £150m acquiring a portfolio of six Purpose Built Student Accommodation buildings. 

The portfolio stretches across Edinburgh, Liverpool, Exeter, and Falmouth, and together provide bed spaces for more than 1,000 students.

As part of the transaction, Aviva Investors has also acquired a complementary commercial asset in Liverpool spread over 65,000 square feet and offering mixed use leisure and retail spaces including hospitality, hotel and supermarket facilities. 


A statement from the insurance giant says that the investment is “further evidence of Aviva and Aviva Investors’ commitment to invest in opportunities which can deliver returns for its customers, whilst supporting communities across the UK to get ready for the future.”

James Stevens, head of real estate investment at Aviva Investors, comments: “Complementing our Build To Rent platform of single-family homes, this significant transaction shows our ability to deploy capital at scale, alongside a proven operating partner, into a strategically important growth sector for our business. 

“Student numbers are projected to continue growing in the coming years and, with a structural undersupply of purpose-built accommodation, we are pleased to be able to invest into the sector and support the provision of high-quality accommodation across the country.”

  • Barry X

    Good luck to them at a time when international student numbers that are critical to accommodation occupancy rates are falling fast for all sorts of reasons and most universities around the world - very much including in the UK - are already absolutely struggling financially, cutting costs dramatically, and genuinely worrying about their futures.... especially second tier institutions, but even the likes of Edinburgh and other reasonably prestigious places Aviva are apparently investing in....

    ...do they know something we don't? It will be interesting to see how this develops.... maybe current owners are selling up and despite the size of their investment Aviva are getting in cheaply?

    The article says "Student numbers are projected to continue growing in the coming years..." but I don't think that's true, especially not for the once very lucrative international students.

    ....or maybe, just maybe, it's a cunning way to get round planning rules on a massive scale - plus minimise expensive section 106 charges for "infrastructure contributions" and affordable housing - by "doing something for education" that almost always gets council support and sympathy.... then cynically and very cheaply "repurpose" in a couple of years..... if so that's quite clever and could well work!


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