On July 13th, Unite Students announced the acquisition of a new 300-bed development site in central Edinburgh. The company said that it is targeting the delivery of the direct-let development for 2023/24 academic year. This development is one of the three investments in the area expected to cost approximately £250 million.
Chief Executive of Unite Students, Richard Smith, said: "The scheme will be funded through the proceeds of our recent placing and delivers enhanced returns relative to Pre-COVID-19 levels."
The company is making use of the current decrease in land price to increase its stock in the market and prepare for further development after the pandemic is over.
Less than a week ago on June 30th 2020, the company released its quarterly evaluation update of Unite UK Student Accommodation Fund (USAF) and the London Student Accommodation Joint Venture (LSAV). USAF's property portfolio was valued at £2,789 million, which has stayed the same during the quarter. LSAV's portfolio was valued at £1,316 million, same as the previous quarter as well.
Student accommodation provider Unite says it has restarted coronavirus-affected work on all its developments due for completion in September, however, the delivery of approximately 2,257 beds will be delayed.
Unite is now allowing flexible bookings for students due to Covid-19, despite its impact on reservations. The company is aiming for an occupancy level of 90% for the academic year 2020-2021. Student reservations for 2020-21 academic year are currently at 81%; therefore, the company has to prepare for the upcoming semester bookings. The company expects a higher number of bookings as the semester approaches. The company also announced that it would allow students to defer their stays following their university start dates.