UK student housing specialist Amro Real Estate Partners has announced plans to expand its reach across southern Europe to capitalise on the potential of the purpose-built student housing market in Spain and Portugal.
Amro has appointed agent CBRE to seek a joint venture partner for a €300 mln capital investment targeting student housing opportunities in the region and has just opened its first continental European office in Madrid.
In a statement, Amro said that it is targeting a 5,000-bed investment platform spanning the Iberia region through development, refurbishment, forward purchase and acquisition.
As part of its expansion plans in the Iberian market, the company has also acquired its first property in continental Europe, a development site in Granada, Spain on which it will develop a 360-bed student housing scheme to open in 2020. The company is in negotiations on a further 3,000 beds in the region, 1,300 of which are under exclusivity.
Raj Kotecha, managing director at Amro Real Estate Partners, commented: 'The student housing market in Southern Europe shares characteristics with the UK student housing market of 10-12 years ago with demand for purposed built accommodation significantly outstripping supply and competition from professionally managed schemes being limited. This is a market still very much in its infancy and we believe our entry timing is ideal. We have an ambitious and well formulated investment strategy with a strong pipeline of schemes underway. Working with a joint venture partner who shares our perspective on the market opportunity will allow us to execute this strategy with speed.'
Amro's Iberian pipeline spans 10 cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Lisbon. Amro will undertake new build development as well as the modernisation of existing student housing properties in order to deliver the same, high-quality product as it develops in the UK.