Unite plans wave of regional student hall schemes

Aaron Morby 7 years ago
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Student accommodation specialist Unite is raising a further £100m to help fund a major expansion outside of London.

The firm has set its sights on delivering new schemes for 2,500 beds in the regions, a market that still offers huge potential for new schemes.

Announcing a share issue to raise the cash, it warned  development costs in London were increasing  for both for land and build, whereas in strong regional locations they remain low and are currently showing little sign of inflation.

Mark Allan, chief executive, said: “As a result of this and the encouraging demand outlook we currently favour new development in strong regional locations over London.

“We expect these favourable conditions to persist in the regions for the next 12 to 18 months.”

Unite is eyeing prospective opportunities in 10 different towns and cities and is actively exploring six to eight of these potential projects

Already it has bought three sites in Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, which will deliver 1,555 beds of its targeted 2,500.

The firm also confirmed it was in advanced negotiations for a fourth.

Across the course of the last year, Unite secured £1.1bn of new debt facilities either on behalf of co-investment vehicles or on the firm’s balance sheet, with a further £124m arranged since the year end bringing its principal refinancing activity to a conclusion.

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