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Unite exchanges contracts for 300-bed site in Edinburgh

By Josh White

Date: Monday 13 Jul 2020

Unite exchanges contracts for 300-bed site in Edinburgh

(Sharecast News) - Student accommodation company Unite Group has exchanged contracts to acquire a new 300-bed development site in central Edinburgh, it announced on Monday, which forms part of a wider mixed-use redevelopment.
The FTSE 250 firm said it was targeting delivery of the direct-let development for the 2023-2024 academic year, although subject to planning consent, that timetable could be accelerated.

Total development costs were estimated to be £24m, delivering a development yield in line with its enhanced 8.5% target for provincial markets.

The board noted the Edinburgh market contains 55,000 full-time students and four high and medium-tariff universities, with an undersupply for purpose-built student accommodation.

It said the development would add to its 2,200 operational beds in the city, and support its strategic alignment to "leading universities", where student demand was described as the strongest.

"This acquisition represents one of three new development and forward funded schemes either contracted or under offer for a total development cost of around £250m," said chief executive officer Richard Smith.

"The scheme will be funded through the proceeds of our recent placing and delivers enhanced returns relative to pre-Covid-19 levels."

At 0823 BST, shares in Unite Group were up 0.69% at 945.5p.

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