Dubai: Bahrain’s GFH Financial Group has padded up its US real estate portfolio, this time by acquiring student housing affiliated to top universities in Texas, Michigan and Missouri. The combined value is around $300 million and was done in partnership with Student Quarters, an Atlanta-based speciality in this category.
The portfolio adds up to more than 2,000 beds with ‘assets located within walking distance of their respective affiliated universities’. The properties are relatively new and include amenities designed to cater to student needs.
“GFH’s investment strategy in the student housing sector focuses on building a diversified portfolio that targets universities within the top public 150 universities in the US, considered flagship universities in their respective states,” said a statement. “The student housing sector has performed well historically, even during the pandemic, as evident by an average stable occupancy rate well above 90 per cent and an equivalent high rental collections rate.”
The likes of Investcorp, also based in Bahrain, GFH and Dubai-based GII are among the Gulf entities that have been expanding their overseas real estate holdings. When all economic indicators suggest high inflation seguing into a recession, property as an asset is holding up well.
“As part of GFH's growing real estate activities, we are delighted to continue our investment in the student housing sector, which is experiencing positive momentum given the rise in US university enrollment, the growing US population and scarcity of class-A pedestrian, purpose-built assets,” said Nael Mustafa, Co-Chief Investment Officer – Real Estate at GFH.