Engel & Völkers Investment Consulting GmbH (EVIC), the investment consultant, has acquired student residences in Germany with a market value of 85 million euros for the Luxembourg-based student housing investment manager Deutsche Real Estate Funds (DREF).
DREF is a leading private provider, owner and operator of student living space in Germany, which manages a portfolio of more than 3,500 residential units. “We created a large portfolio of student residential units last year and in the process established an excellent working relationship with Engel & Völkers Investment Consulting. In particular, we benefited from their expertise in structuring and realising portfolio transactions and building major investment portfolios,” says Felix Bauer, CEO and CSO of Deutsche Real Estate Funds Advisor. “By the end of 2016, we plan to have at least doubled the size of our portfolio and are already working on a substantial pipeline of projects.”
DREF appointed EVIC with a mandate to select, prepare and purchase properties with a value of up to 200 million euros. EVIC has access to the nationwide network of the Engel & Völkers Group, which comprises more than 40 commercial offices and 300 locations in Germany. DREF builds, acquires, refurbishes and manages student residences let to students under the TWENTY FIRST brand. The residential properties acquired are located in such cities as Berlin, Bremen, Kiel, Stuttgart, Bochum and Essen.
“The market for student housing really took off in 2015, in part because of DREF’s activities. It is gradually becoming increasingly difficult to acquire good quality buildings in central locations at reasonable prices. This is where DREF has an advantage thanks to its many years of experience and focused investment strategy. It is this focus and experience that make it possible for us to find suitable purchases for DREF at short notice. We’re thrilled that we’ve already managed to complete numerous acquisitions on behalf of DREF and we plan to continue this success in 2016,” says Kai Wolfram, Managing Shareholder at EVIC.
DREF operates a targeted approach to selecting locations and buildings. In addition to the location and building quality, DREF pays particular attention to evaluating the (international) reputation and development of the universities along with the existing provision of student accommodation in each city. All residences are in central locations or near universities and are well connected to public transport. The company assigns particular importance to high, modern and, above all, reliable quality standards. This applies in equal measure to the location of the residences, as well as to living quality and the processes surrounding the contractual closing and billing.
The Bauer Group is majority shareholder in DREF. Internos Global Investors and the family office Somerston Group have holdings totaling 27.5 percent.