Valad buys in London

The Australian group with a sizeable European presence has bought a prime central London student accommodation development for around £30m.

Australia's Valad Property Group has acquired a development close to London's Barbican in the financial district for around £30 million (€38 million; $57 million) for its University Capital Trust (UCT) fund.

The block is a new purpose built student accommodation development comprising 247 units in a mix of cluster apartments and studios.

The acquisition has been made by on behalf of the firm's university accommodation fund which was launched in November 2005, and has a current portfolio value of approximately £90 million in six separate assets across the UK.

The initial commitment to purchase the completed development was made by Valad 18 months ago, and the valuation has since seen an uplift of approximately 20 percent, said the firm in a statement.

David Kirkby, head of fund management in Europe for Valad, said: “This transaction provides UCT with its first scheme in London where there is a significant undersupply of purpose built student accommodation.” He added the block had strong interest from universities and was letting well.

The firm, led by founder Stephen Day and executive director Peter Hurley, has expanded its fund management model in Europe of late. Having acquired Scarborough Property Group for £865 million last year, it now manages 11 funds including the university vehicle.