AXA IM dips toes in Aussie student housing

AXA Investment Managers' real assets business has made its first move into student accommodation in Australia, acquiring six operational assets in a new venture which plans to invest more in the sector.

AXA IM partnered with Allianz Group and manager-operator Scape to acquire six assets totaling over 3500 beds from Atira Student Living Portfolio.

The accommodation is located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and in proximity of University of Melbourne and University of Queensland and others, with the average asset less than two years old.

AXA said the venture will make further investments in the sector to create a pre-eminent portfolio of student housing assets in Australia.

It will have exclusive access to Scape's development pipeline, from which it can selectively acquire assets, AXA said.

AXA IM - Real Assets head of Australia Kumar Kalyanakumar said: "Following our recent investments into the Australian hotel and healthcare sectors, the expansion into student housing is a key part in offering our clients exposure to alternative real estate sectors in Australia."

"We have a high conviction for alternative real estate classes given their attractive relative returns potential and the underlying fundamental growth drivers that support them. We are attracted to the Australian student housing sector in particular, which is set to continue to benefit from Australia's position as a leading destination for international students."

Earlier this month, AXA IM acquired two hospitals in Queensland.

In February, it bought three hotels in Sydney's Olympic Park and one in Canberra's CBD as part of a $330 million acquisition.

Novotel, Ibis and Pullman sit close to each other at Olympic Park which is home to ANZ Stadium, Qudos Bank Arena and Spotless Stadium. The precinct hosted 5500 events in 2017-2018 and 10.5 million visitors.

Read more: AXA IMAXA Investment ManagersKumar Kalyanakumar
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