EQT Exeter Enters U.K. Student Housing Market

Six communities totaling 2,300 beds were purchased in two separate transactions.

Bath student housing community. Image courtesy of EQT Exeter

EQT Exeter has entered the U.K. student housing market with its acquisition of six communities across the country. The company is acquiring these student housing properties through its EQT Real Estate II fund. The acquisitions are two separate transactions where the sellers are subsidiaries of Watkin Jones PLC and Tide Construction.

The acquisition totals 2,313 beds, where 1,059 of them are to be developed by Watkin Jones with expected deliveries during 2023 and 2024. As for the communities that are completed, they are fully occupied. All of the student housing properties are in central locations in top-tier university cities throughout the U.K.

The portfolio is split up as five assets totaling 2,063 beds being acquired from Watkin Jones and 250 beds from a Tide Construction community. The Watkin Jones acquisitions are located in Bath, Nottingham, and Bristol in England; Swansea in Wales; and Glasgow in Scotland, with three of them currently under construction. Once completed, Watkin Jones’ in-house operator Fresh will manage the five properties on behalf of EQT Exeter.

The Tide Construction community, Great Court, is located in South Bermondsey, London, and is near all of the city’s top universities. The community’s amenities include 24/7 reception, a gym, study space, courtyard, cinema and lounge. Great Court reached full occupancy after it opened in 2021 and is currently being managed by CRM.


While EQT Exeter’s student housing portfolio already has properties in Spain and Ireland, this latest acquisition is the company’s first entry into the U.K. student housing market. Now, its European student housing portfolio totals 5,222 beds.

EQT Exeter said it’s planning to continue its strategy of acquiring student housing properties in top-tier university cities across Europe that are seeing severe supply shortages. The company said it sees significant growth potential across the sector and has a healthy pipeline of additional acquisition opportunities in European markets. Earlier this month, EQT Exeter also acquired the U.S. residential real estate investment manager Redwood Capital Group.

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