Client commits to student halls projects in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Portsmouth


Unite has added four major student halls schemes to its development pipeline, worth £125m in total.

The student accommodation giant said it secured four sites in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Portsmouth for the schemes in its half-year results to 30 June 2014.

Unite plans to complete construction of the schemes, which between them will deliver 2,261 student beds, in 2016.

The four schemes are: the 606-bed Newgate Street scheme in Newcastle; the 346-bed Causewayend project in Aberdeen; the 550-bed St Leonards accommodation job in Edinburgh; and the 759-bed Greetham Street scheme in Portsmouth.

The schemes increase Unite’s overall development pipeline to £382m worth of schemes, delivering 5,900 new student beds by 2016.

The additions also increase the weighting of Unite’s development pipeline towards regional schemes rather than London schemes.

Unite is committed to or constructing six schemes in the UK regions and five schemes in London, with two in London wholly-owned by Unite, with the rest in joint ventures.

The firm said it wanted to shift the weighting of its property portfolio from a 55:45 regional to London split to a 60:40 split “over the next few years”.

Unite confirmed it is “unlikely” to commit to further development projects in London this year due to “land values escalating and clear signs of construction cost inflation”.

The company said it was now focussed on “securing strong regional projects for 2017 completion” funded by a £93m share placing completed in March.

Unite currently has £258m worth of properties under construction, almost double the £130m projects in progress last year.

The client said: “The medium term outlook for our sector and business is firmly positive.

“Government policy is supportive of increasing university student numbers, leading to a solid rental growth outlook, and we have an excellent development pipeline being delivered over the next few years into a strong market.”