Unite Group Buys BTR Property In Stratford For £71 Mln

Unite Group Buys BTR Property In Stratford For £71 Mln

October 10, 2022

Unite Group Plc (UTG.L, UTGPF), a developer of student accommodation, Monday said it has acquired 180 Stratford, a 178-unit purpose-built build-to-rent or BTR property in Stratford, East London for 71 million pounds.

The property is expected to produce a yield on cost of 4.3 percent following a planned refurbishment starting in 2023.

The company said the 180 Stratford will be integrated onto its operating platform. The acquisition will increase Unite’s scale in the Stratford market to around 3,700 beds.

The property, which opened in 2013, is located on Stratford High Street, and offers 319 beds across a mix of 1-bed, 2-bed and 3-bed units, as well as 11,000 sq ft of commercial space. The residential units are currently 99 percent occupied at affordable average rents of £28 per sq ft.

Unite Group said the property adds to its significant existing presence in the Stratford market, where Unite already operates 1,700 student beds and has two further student developments in its secured pipeline.

The company expects the deal to enable it to test its operational capability to extend accommodation offer to young professionals and retain them as customers as they move on to the next stage in their lives.

The acquisition and refurbishment will be funded from the proceeds of recent disposals and does not impact Unite’s 2022 earnings guidance of 40 pence to 41 pence per share.

Richard Smith, Unite Students Chief Executive Officer, said, “This pilot BTR investment offers the opportunity to test our operational capability in the sector and understand the potential synergies with our student business. …This property has good redevelopment potential and benefits from Stratford’s growth as a major student, employment and leisure hub, as well as our significant local presence.”

In London, Unite Group shares were trading at 833 pence, up 4.71 percent.

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