Singapore’s Far East Orchard Buys 2 UK Student Dorms for $85m

Brings Far East Orchard’s student housing portfolio to 3,260 beds across 11properties in the United Kingdom; surpassing target to grow its portfolio to 3,000 beds by 2023.

The Foundry, Leeds

Singapore-listed Far East Orchard Limited has acquired two freehold student accommodation properties in the United Kingdom for approximately S$115.7 million ($85 million), according to a company announcement.

The company has acquired the properties in Leeds and Sheffield with a total of 974 beds, raising the number of its portfolio in the UK to 3,260 purpose-built student accommodation beds across 11 properties. The portfolio surpasses Far East Orchard’s target of 3,000 beds by 2023.

In a disclosure to the Singapore Exchange, Far East said the newly acquired properties are The Foundry in Leeds with 239 beds and The Elements in Sheffield with 735 beds. Both properties have been operating at full occupancy since opening in 2017 and 2018, respectively, benefiting from their proximity to university campuses and the city centre.

The properties will be managed by the facility manager of the Group’s existing student accommodation portfolio in Brighton, Bristol,Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Leeds and Sheffield are ranked among the top eight student population cities in the UK, with a sizeable full-time student population requiring accommodation facilities. Both cities are home to several higher education institutions, including two Russell Group universities -University of Leeds and The University of Sheffield, the company said.

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In March 2019, Far East Orchard acquired a portfolio of three freehold student accommodation properties located in Liverpool and Bristol with a total of 622 beds for £55.0 million (approximately S$98.7 million).

“We have been on the journey to build our recurring income base. We are pleased that our strategic efforts are translating into results, with the continued growth of our student accommodation portfolio to 3,260 beds, ahead of our target to achieve 3,000 student beds by 2023,” said Lui Chong Chee, Group Executive Officer and Managing Director of Far East Orchard.

He added that Far East Orchard will continue to explore accretive development and acquisition opportunities to enhance the company’s recurring income as part of its long-term strategy to build a resilient business. – ©