Round Hill Capital completes deal to acquire 703 student beds in the Netherlands

Round Hill Capital, a leading global real estate investment, development and asset management firm, has signed a deal to acquire a 703 bed student accommodation development for its third PBSA site in The Netherlands.  Located on the Leiden Bio Science Park, part of the University Campus, the 14,562 sq m asset will bring much needed high-quality student housing to the city. Construction is set to start in 2021 and the development is scheduled to be ready for occupation for the 2023/24 academic year.

Leiden is amongst the top student cities in The Netherlands, with the student population projected to grow by 13% in total by 2025, equivalent to an extra 5,000 students . Not only will the city see tremendous growth in the student population over the next few years, but it will also experience significant demand for accommodation. There is already a current shortage of thousands of student rooms in Leiden.

The deal highlights Round Hill Capital’s experience in the Dutch market where it is an active investor, with multiple mandates and strategies, ranging from residential to student, and from speculative development to core yielding assets.

The company is actively seeking further long term investments in The Netherlands as it looks to build on its expansive portfolio, with its local execution capabilities and ability to source off market deals.  The 703-bed asset will benefit from a modern design and layout and will provide students with high quality services and amenities including study rooms, laundry areas, private dining rooms and private roof gardens.

The deal provides further evidence of the appetite institutional investors have for European accommodation in the current economic climate. Round Hill Capital believes such assets offer long-term resilience as investments which deliver attractive returns at acceptable risk levels. Round Hill Capital is raising additional capital to deploy into student accommodation across Europe and the US as it looks to capitalise on persisting demographic trends while utilising innovative technology to maximise efficiencies.

Michael Bickford, Founder and CEO at Round Hill Capital, said: “This acquisition represents a continuation of our investment strategy in Student Housing in key European cities like Leiden. While the pandemic has caused some disruption to the lives of students and faculty, we still believe the long-term value drivers of investing in PBSA remain strong. This underwrites our confidence in the PBSA market, and our appetite to acquire more student accommodation assets in The Netherlands and the rest of Europe in the near future.

Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to the Dutch market, where Round Hill Capital has been a leader in investment in the accommodation sector since 2014. We benefit from our highly experienced local team based in Amsterdam who have a proven ability to source, develop, invest in and manage residential and student accommodation assets.”

Russell Petrie, Student Accommodation Sector Head of Round Hill Capital said: “This development will provide hundreds of new rooms for students at Leiden University, at a time when the city desperately needs high quality modern accommodation that is currently in short supply. We look forward to construction starting and using technology and our deep sector knowledge to drive efficiencies and investment returns. We continue to see strong opportunities to invest in institutional PBSA assets in the European market and beyond and look forward to announcing new investments in the near future.”

The final phase of the mixed-use scheme is due to be completed to accommodate students in the 2023/24 academic year.

* Savills, 2019: Student housing: from niche specialism to full-fledged segment