CA Ventures unveils plans to invest €1.5b in Europe over 3 years

Chicago-based, real estate investor CA Ventures has announced plans to enter the European market and invest some €900 mln per annum in the development of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) across the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe.

CA said this week that it has plans to invest £500 mln (€560 mln) a year in the UK and Ireland by 2021. It will also be entering other European markets with commitments in its development pipeline of £300 mln a year in The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

As part of the announcement, CA Ventures has unveiled three PBSA development schemes, backed by capital partner PGIM Real Estate through its European real estate value-add debt platform and senior debt through Investec, in the UK totaling 888 beds. The state-of-the-art facilities, which are expected to be ready for the 2021/2022 academic year, are located in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Sheffield.

The group's immediate pipeline also includes 257 beds in Dublin, Ireland; 251 beds in Belfast; and further schemes in Bristol, York and Edinburgh; which will all be delivered for the 2021/2022 academic year.

Currently, demand for PBSA in the UK significantly outweighs supply, where the current student to bed ratio is 3:1 and there is an expected increase in student numbers of 15% between now and 2030, the company said.

'Outside of the US; the UK is the largest destination for international students but remains severely under-supplied with purpose-built student accommodations,' said Carlo Matta, head of Europe, CA Ventures. 'We see a significant opportunity in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe, to deliver a modern, high quality student living experience. Across commercial real estate product types, we feel that student accommodation offers some of the best risk-adjusted returns given the ability to satisfy demand from both domestic and international students.'

Matta previously held senior roles at Optimum Asset Management, Actis and Hines.

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