Respublica to fill student housing gap

Posted On Thursday, 04 February 2016 14:49 Published by
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Student residence provider Respublica has plans to provide 20,000 beds by 2020 as it looks to fill the educational housing gap left by the state.

Craig_McMurray

Student residence provider Respublica, majority-owned by Redefine Properties, has plans to provide 20,000 beds by 2020 as it looks to fill the educational housing gap left by the state.

CEO Craig McMurray said yesterday the private sector was best placed to provide student accommodation, but there were concerns that late registrations following SA’s #FeesMustFall protests and late examination results would place strain on private student residential providers.

“The Redefine transaction, which saw the listed fund acquire 51% of Respublica has been fantastic for us,” he said.

“We now have a partner which can help us grow our fully serviced student living service. We are also able to handle the decrease in rentals we will receive from various assets because of how the fees protests delayed registrations and delayed students from seeking accommodation.”

Some analysts say established and big property companies should flex their muscles in the residential property market and that there was strong demand for student accommodation.

Stag African, a residential housing developer, maintains there is a shortage of 600,000 beds for students.

Redefine Properties has been an early mover among listed property funds investing in student accommodation.

Evan Robins, listed property manager of Old Mutual Investment Group’s MacroSolutions boutique, said Redefine had the clout to help Respublica become a leader in student accommodation provision.

More listed funds may invest in operationdriven student accommodation soon, given the lack of opportunities in other property sub- sectors, according to Adrian Jardine, an equity analyst at Avior Capital.

“Given the headwinds facing the sector, we expect to see further moves into alternate asset classes, such as student accommodation, and one view is that Redefine will have gained an early-mover advantage through its investment in Respublica.”

source Business Day

Last modified on Thursday, 04 February 2016 19:46

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