(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’) announces it has completed the purchase of a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) in Bath on behalf of the Lime Property Fund (‘Lime’ or ‘the Fund’), acquiring Green Park House from Bath Spa University.
As part of the transaction, the Fund has simultaneously entered into a 27-year lease agreement with the University of Bath, which included annual CPI rent reviews, collared and capped at 0 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.
Situated on Green Park Road, Green Park House offers 461 units of student accommodation arranged over six floors and four different room types. In keeping with Aviva Investors’ commitment to achieving net zero across the entirety of its Real Assets portfolio by 2040, and aligning with the University of Bath’s pledge to reach Net Zero Carbon in its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, also by 2040, Green Park House has an EPC-B rating, with rooftop-based solar PV panelling, rainwater harvesting and no direct reliance on fossil fuels.
The deal builds on Aviva Investors’ existing relationship with the University of Bath, with the Lime Property Fund having acquired a portfolio of student accommodation in 2007 which is also let to the University.
Kris McPhail, Fund Manager at Aviva Investors, said:
“Long income has experienced relatively low volatility despite market stresses as a result of the pandemic, offering a gilt-like cashflows with the added benefit of being linked to inflation. With inflationary pressure continuing to rise, the case for the asset class is a compelling one, particularly if coupled with strong counterparty credit. As a well-established, top-ten UK university, we believe the University of Bath offers exactly this. The tailored and bespoke deal on Green Park House will provide affordable accommodation for students, and at a much lower rate than would be possible through direct letting. We believe this deal has good social and environmental credentials, but will also deliver strong value and performance for our clients, who value inflation-linked cashflows that can offer a healthy margin over gilts.”
Launched in 2004, the Lime Property Fund has over £3 billion of assets under management and targets cross-sector property investments around the UK that can provide inflation-linked or fixed rental uplifts, let to tenants on leases of over 15 years. It was awarded ‘Highest 10-year risk-adjusted return’ and ‘Best-performing Unlisted pooled balanced funds over £1.5bn’ at the 2021 MSCI UK Property Investment Awards, which recognise the best long-term performing funds in the market. In 2020, the Fund attracted almost £450 million in new capital commitments, as investors increasingly seek resilient income streams that can also offer cashflow matching characteristics.