Source: BusinessTimes.com.sg |Author: Emelia Tan
ASCOTT Residence Trust (SGX:HMN) -0.51% (ART) announced last week that it will acquire a student accommodation property in Texas, in the United States, which will be its third student accommodation asset investment this year.
While ART may be the first Singapore-listed trust to venture into student housing as S-Reits continue to diversify across property sub-segments, there are other Singapore-listed companies such as Singapore Press Holdings SPH: T39 -1.02% , Far East Orchard Far East Orchard: O10 +2.78% , Centurion Corporation Centurion: OU8 +1.52% , Wee Hur Wee Hur: E3B -1.54% , and Metro Holdings Metro: M01 -0.65% that invest, own, and manage purpose built student accommodation assets (PBSA).
According to Knight Frank, global investments in PBSA reached a record US$16.3 billion in 2018.
Savills considers the PBSA sector to be counter-cyclical and notes in a report that it was one of the few asset classes that showed resilience during the global financial crisis in 2008.
In addition, data collated by Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) has shown that over a third of deals for student housing in 2021 so far have been by private equity firms, as investors continue to seek exposure to alternative real estate sectors.
ART’s most recent acquisition is a freehold 1,005-bed student accommodation asset in Lubbock, Texas, for S$93.8 million. Wildwood Lubbock is a cottage-style property that is fully leased for the 2021 academic year and serves over 40,000 students from Texas Tech University.