Unite Students, the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation, are currently 99% let across our 49,000 bed portfolio for the 2017/18 academic year. Beds under nomination agreements with universities have increased to 29,063 beds representing 60% of Unite’s portfolio (2016/17 58%), with 40% directly let to students. The sales performance will deliver annual rental growth at the mid to upper end of our 3.0-3.5% expectations.
In September 2017 Unite opened five new student residences in Edinburgh (two properties), Oxford, Coventry and Liverpool, comprising a total of 2,152 beds. All of the properties were completed on time and in-line with appraised costs. The beds are fully let with 67% of the beds secured on nominations agreements with an average life of 13 years, delivering a yield on cost in-line with expectations.
We are continuing to make progress with the 2020 development pipeline and extending our University partnerships. We have secured 1,000 beds under a lock-out agreement in a strong regional market for delivery in 2020 in line with our return hurdles. We have agreed the extension of our partnership with Kings College, London increasing the average life of our nominations agreements covering 2,355 beds from six years to nine years, with annual fixed uplifts of 3%. We have also extended the life of an agreement with the London School of Economics on a 455 bed property in London from 2030 to 2040, with annual RPI linked uplifts.
Capital Markets Day
Unite Students will today host a Capital Markets Day for institutional investors and analysts at Aston Student Village, Birmingham. The event will provide an update on the progress made in implementing the Group's strategy, focusing on the property portfolio, university partnerships and service platform.
The presentation will commence at 10.30 am and is expected to conclude at around 1:00 pm including a question and answer session. Slides will be available on the Unite Group website.
Richard Smith, UNITE Students CEO, commented:
“We are delighted to have delivered another year of full occupancy and strong rental growth. This performance again demonstrates the value of our partnership approach with many of the UK’s leading Universities, built on our unique service platform and outstanding property portfolio.”
For further information, please contact:
Joe Lister, Chief Financial Officer
Tel: +44 117 302 7005
Candice Macdonald, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 7525 592521