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News release

Australia

Singapore-based Centurion Corporation makes its first investment in the student accommodation sector in Australia with the purchase of RMIT Village in Melbourne for AUD $60 million

Strong interest both domestically and offshore in this asset is indicative of the AUD$1 billion of equity chasing student accommodation assets in Australia


AUSTRALIA, 29 NOVEMBER 2013 – RMIT Village in Melbourne, which provides 456 bedrooms of purpose built student accommodation, has been sold to Singapore-based Centurion Corporation for AUD $60 million, subject to FIRB approval.

The deal was transacted by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Conal Newland and Noral Rich on behalf of Transfield Holdings.

Commenting on the sale, Director of Student Accommodation Services, Mr Newland said the strong interest generated by this offering in the market signals growing demand by investors and developers for purpose built student housing in Australia.

“The interest we received in RMIT Village was significant from investors and developers within Australia and offshore looking to enter this emerging sector.  

“We estimate there is currently over $1 billion of potential investment looking to enter the Australian student accommodation market to capitalise on the strong fundamentals that currently exist, such as the gap in supply and demand and the yields on offer.

“Centurion is purchasing this well established property which generates an attractive stabilised return and provides significant upside to enhance the asset and develop additional accommodation,” said Mr Newland.

Centurion Corporation – a Singapore-listed owner and operator of accommodation assets - entered the Australian accommodation market in 2012 with a land acquisition in WA and the RMIT purchase marks an expansion into the student accommodation market in Australia.

RMIT Village in North Melbourne, is located at 5-17 Flemington Road.  The building was formerly the Old Melbourne Hotel and was converted to student housing in 2005 by Transfield Holdings. RMIT Village is managed by Campus Living Villages Fund (CLV).

Mr Newland said, “RMIT Village has achieved close to 100% occupancy for the past 3 years.  It is located in the heart of the education precinct and is only a 5 minute walk from Melbourne University and a 5 minute tram ride from RMIT, making it a sought after investment and development asset.

“The property also benefits from an agreement with RMIT University, under which the university has historically reserved up to 70% of the available beds at RMIT Village.  The Village has a high proportion of domestic students, mainly from country Victoria. 

“Melbourne has a shortage of purpose built accommodation for students.  Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that the proportion of students in Melbourne living in purpose built housing is very low at only 7%.  There is a significant difference between Melbourne and other global cities like London, which has 21% of students living in purpose built accommodation.

“When you consider that 93% of students in Melbourne are currently residing at home or in private rental accommodation, the potential for growth in student housing is huge.  

“The projected pipeline of purpose built student housing that is either under construction or approved in Melbourne is also relatively low, at approximately 1,228 bedrooms, which represents 0.6% of total full time students studying in Melbourne.  We estimate there are circa 200,000 full time students studying within the seven main universities located in Melbourne,” said Mr Newland. 

– RMIT Village in Melbourne, which provides 456 bedrooms of purpose built student accommodation, has been sold to Singapore-based Centurion Corporation for AUD $60 million, subject to FIRB approval.

The deal was transacted by Jones Lang LaSalle’s Conal Newland and Noral Rich on behalf of Transfield Holdings.

Commenting on the sale, Director of Student Accommodation Services, Mr Newland said the strong interest generated by this offering in the market signals growing demand by investors and developers for purpose built student housing in Australia.

“The interest we received in RMIT Village was significant from investors and developers within Australia and offshore looking to enter this emerging sector.  

“We estimate there is currently over $1 billion of potential investment looking to enter the Australian student accommodation market to capitalise on the strong fundamentals that currently exist, such as the gap in supply and demand and the yields on offer.

“Centurion is purchasing this well established property which generates an attractive stabilised return and provides significant upside to enhance the asset and develop additional accommodation,” said Mr Newland.

Centurion Corporation – a Singapore-listed owner and operator of accommodation assets - entered the Australian accommodation market in 2012 with a land acquisition in WA and the RMIT purchase marks an expansion into the student accommodation market in Australia.

RMIT Village in North Melbourne, is located at 5-17 Flemington Road.  The building was formerly the Old Melbourne Hotel and was converted to student housing in 2005 by Transfield Holdings. RMIT Village is managed by Campus Living Villages Fund (CLV).

Mr Newland said, “RMIT Village has achieved close to 100% occupancy for the past 3 years.  It is located in the heart of the education precinct and is only a 5 minute walk from Melbourne University and a 5 minute tram ride from RMIT, making it a sought after investment and development asset.

“The property also benefits from an agreement with RMIT University, under which the university has historically reserved up to 70% of the available beds at RMIT Village.  The Village has a high proportion of domestic students, mainly from country Victoria. 

“Melbourne has a shortage of purpose built accommodation for students.  Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that the proportion of students in Melbourne living in purpose built housing is very low at only 7%.  There is a significant difference between Melbourne and other global cities like London, which has 21% of students living in purpose built accommodation.

“When you consider that 93% of students in Melbourne are currently residing at home or in private rental accommodation, the potential for growth in student housing is huge.  

“The projected pipeline of purpose built student housing that is either under construction or approved in Melbourne is also relatively low, at approximately 1,228 bedrooms, which represents 0.6% of total full time students studying in Melbourne.  We estimate there are circa 200,000 full time students studying within the seven main universities located in Melbourne,” said Mr Newland.