Developers Lodge Student Tower Plans

Two high quality student accommodation buildings now under construction in the hub of Auckland’s education precinct are being marketed for sale on behalf of urban lifestyle property developers Tasman Cook.

The properties at 5 Whitaker Place and 121 Grafton Road are being sold via an international expression of interest campaign run by JLL and closing on Friday April 24.

The two buildings are being jointly marketed as a portfolio, or as individual properties, by Andrew Brown, investment sales director for JLL New Zealand and Conal Newland, national director of student accommodations services for JLL Australia.

Brown says completion of the two developments is expected by the end of this year to allow students to move in at the commencement of the 2016 academic year.

“At present, there is a very limited supply of high quality purpose-built student accommodation in and around Auckland’s CBD,” he says. “Existing student accommodation is predominately of a very modest quality and provides limited operational services or pastoral care for students.”

Brown says the rapid rise of international student numbers into Auckland over the past 10 years and a perennial scarcity of premium student accommodation, presents an excellent opportunity for investors to gain a significant foothold in the Auckland institutional property market and access strong exposure to an emerging global asset class.

He cites Statistics New Zealand figures stating that the volume of student arrivals into New Zealand, “mainly driven to Auckland”, has jumped from 15,398 in 2013 to 22,863 in 2014.

“This is a 48 per cent year on year increase and these numbers are expected to continue to grow,” Brown says.

“The major source of international students to Auckland is Asian countries and students coming from these large cities in Asia Pacific are accustomed with living in high-quality, space efficient apartments, near or adjacent to their university. These newly constructed premium student residences will be an ideal accommodation solution for young people who have grown up in densely populated urban environments.”

Newland, a student accommodation specialist who has been involved in numerous successful student accommodation developments in Australia and the UK, says there is currently a gap in Auckland in the supply of accommodation to students for good quality purpose built facilities that are professionally managed.