Student residence changes hands for £26m

Ayton House in Abbey Walk.
Ayton House in Abbey Walk.

Empiric Student Property plc (ESP) has acquired the freehold of a 241-bed, premium student accommodation property in St Andrews for £26m.

Ayton House in Abbey Walk, is Empiric’s first acquisition in St Andrews. It was completed for the 2015/16 academic year and comprises a mixture of studios and four and five-bed en-suite apartments.

The property has been acquired with a first year rental guarantee from the vendor, Threesixty Developments (formerly Knightsbridge Student Housing). Its website said of the halls of residence: “Not every student wants the same university experience, post grads and under grads have different needs... All rooms are finished to a high standard with small double beds, deluxe en-suite shower rooms, and well-thought-out study space. Studios have contemporary fitted kitchens in-room, while apartments come with large, modern lounge-diners... There’s a launderette and common room, plus there’s a landscaped courtyard and ample bike storage facilities.”

Paul Hadaway, chief executive of ESP, said: “Ayton House is a fantastic addition to the Empiric portfolio and marks the Company’s first acquisition in St Andrews, a university town which is held in extremely high regard by both domestic and international students.

“Ayton House is one of only two purpose-built student accommodation schemes in St Andrews, which continues to suffer from a significant supply and demand imbalance. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile.”