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更新时间:2015-5-14 19:45:40 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

London Real Estate Sizzles Off Campus

LONDON — Joyce Ge, a student from China who is studying business management at King’s College, pays 880 pounds a month, or $1,310, to live in a pint-size, stylish studio apartment in the far reaches of east London, in a building with roof decks gazing toward the distant city skyline. Her rent covers water and electricity, as well as Wi-Fi and cleaning of common spaces every two weeks.

伦敦——来自中国的留学生乔伊斯·葛(Joyce Ge)如今正在伦敦国王学院(King’s College)读工商管理专业,她租住的单间很时尚,位于伦敦东区的偏远地带,每月租金880英镑(约合1310美元,8600元人民币),站在公寓楼顶的天台上,还可以看到远处伦敦的身影。乔伊斯的房租包含了水电费,Wi-Fi费和两周一次的公用空间清洁费。

Many investors are betting that there will be a lot more Joyce Ges arriving in the coming years.


Their bet is a simple one: As students from the world’s growing middle and upper classes flock to London for higher education, the stark supply-demand imbalance in student housing will grow.


International college students are pouring into London, deepening an extensive housing shortage. The result is that student housing is becoming another red-hot corner of the city’s property market. That has tempted international pension funds, major private equity players and real estate giants to build up or sell off large portfolios of buildings for handsome profits. The values of many of these portfolios are rising (and consequently, yields are falling) as a result of the intense investor interest.


About £3.5 billion worth of British student housing deals have been done so far in 2015, according to the real estate consulting firm JLL. That’s more than double the value of deals completed in 2014.

据房地产咨询公司仲量联行(Jones Lang LaSalle)透露,到目前为止,2015年英国学生公寓成交额达35亿英镑左右,是2014全年成交额的两倍多。

“The volume has increased dramatically, and the values per bed have risen significantly,” said Philip Hillman, the head of student housing and higher education at JLL.

仲量联行负责学生公寓和高等教育的主管菲利普·希尔曼(Philip Hillman)表示,“成交量急剧增加,每张床位的价值也显著提高。”

Among the notable transactions are the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s £1.1 billion purchase of Liberty Living, previously owned by retail investors, and the Carlyle Group’s sale of its Pure portfolio of student housing to LetterOne, a group of Russian investors, for £535 million.

在众多引人注目的交易中,加拿大退休金计划投资委员会(Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board)以11亿英镑购得学生公寓Liberty Living,该公寓此前由零售投资商持有。此外,俄罗斯集团LetterOne以5.35亿英镑从凯雷集团(Carlyle Group)收购了学生公寓Pure Student Living。

Greystar Real Estate Partners, which is based in the United States, has completed seven deals, including buying Nido, a portfolio of student housing, for £600 million. (Blackstone sold that same portfolio to Round Hill Capital in 2012 for £415 million.)

总部在美国的灰星房地产合伙公司(Greystar Real Estate Partners)完成了七笔交易,其中包括以6亿英镑购得学生公寓项目Nido。黑石集团(Blackstone)在2012年以4.15亿英镑的价格,将Nido项目出售给了房地产投资公司Round Hill Capital。

“The pool of international buyers is expanding because the returns are attractive, the cash flows are attractive and there are platforms trading rather than individual assets,” said Brett Lashley, a managing director at Greystar who is based in London.

“因为回报可观、现金流充足,还有是平台交易,而非买卖单个资产,所以国际买家的正不断增多,”灰星公司常驻伦敦的董事总经理布雷特·拉什利(Brett Lashley)说道。

Previously, universities provided housing to students, or students teamed up to rent a house together. The university housing was suitably shabby and “customer service was not a concept here,” said one international investor.


But in the 1990s, the private sector jumped in to fill the gaping hole universities could not cover. Companies that developed properties and then managed them sprouted, and grew. Some took on too much debt.


During the financial crisis, private equity players like Blackstone and Carlyle stepped in to scoop up these properties, building up portfolios of student housing and creating the scale the market lacked to make it attractive for institutional investors.


Britain has 1.8 million full-time students, foreign and domestic combined. But to illustrate the shortage, only about 525,000 purpose-built student housing beds are available. These can be rooms to rent, a combination of what universities can offer and what the private sector leases — either directly to students or via an agreement with the higher education institutions. About 220,000 of those beds are commercial properties, according to JLL.


Rents have been rising 3 percent to 4 percent a year with occupancy rates at 97 percent to 99 percent. Even after significantly steeper university fees were introduced in 2012, the market still grew. Intake for the 2014-15 school year hit a new peak, with 512,000 students matriculating.


Investors say growth is robust and nearly recession-proof. At the higher rent levels, many students are willing to pay whatever the cost.


“A lot of investors want to invest where the main driver is not the strength of the economy but more demographics,” said Mr. Hillman of JLL, who has been involved in student housing for 25 years, giving him a window into how substantially the market has changed.


Crucial to growth in the sector, especially at the high end, where investors like Greystar are focusing, is the flood of international students. Of the 1.3 million students who were looking for a place to live in the 2013-14 school year, 72 percent were British, 7.5 percent were from the European Union and 20 percent were from other countries, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

这个领域增长的关键,尤其是像灰星公司这样的投资者关注的领域内的高端,在于国际学生的涌入。高等教育统计局(Higher Education Statistics Agency)的数据显示,在2013至2014学年寻找住所的130万名学生当中,72%是英国人、7.5%来自欧盟,还有20%来自其他国家。

The five-year growth rate of international students has been 20.3 percent, compared with 8.3 percent for European Union students and only about a 1 percent increase for the domestic market. The government’s Department of Business, Innovation & Skills predicted in 2013 that international students in higher education would rise 15 percent to 20 percent over the next five years. In 2013, the chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said the government would eliminate the cap on the number of students a university could accept in 2015, also adding to the increase.

这五年的国际学生增长率是20.3%,相比之下,欧盟学生的增长率为8.3%,而国内市场的增长只有大约1%。英国政府的商务、创新和技能部(Department of Business, Innovation & Skills)在2013年预测,接受高等教育的国际学生,将会在未来五年中增长15%到20%。2013年,财政大臣乔治·奥斯本(George Osborne)曾说,政府将会在2015年取消大学招生名额的上限,这也促进了上述增长。

Universities are eager to attract foreign students because they pay more in fees. And student accommodation providers say they pay a lot more for their housing, too. Another appeal for investors is that the student populations move or graduate almost every year, allowing owners to increase rents.


“Rather than provide a room and a bed, we are providing a consumer experience,” said James Pullan, head of student property at Knight Frank, another large London real estate group. “It’s all about the international students.”

“我们不是提供一间屋子和一张床,而是在提供一种消费体验,”詹姆斯·普兰(James Pullan)说。“都是为了国际学生。”普兰是伦敦另一家大型地产集团莱坊(Knight Frank)的学生地产项目负责人。

Wi-Fi, in particular, is a major priority in amenities. “It’s like having electricity,” Mr. Lashley said.


British students are disquieted by the trend. “All the new builds are high-end and expensive and marketed to international students,” said Colum McGuire, vice president for welfare for the National Union of Students. “Other students have to scrape to live in them.” He knows: Though he grew up in London, he had to leave to attend college outside the city because of the cost of housing.

英国学生对这种趋势表示担心。“所有的新建筑都是高端昂贵并且面向国际学生的,”全国学生联合会(National Union of Students)负责福利的副主席科勒姆·麦圭尔(Colum McGuire)说。“其他学生要节衣缩食才能住进去。”他明白这种处境,尽管他在伦敦长大,但因为房租的缘故,不得不去伦敦以外上大学。

The National Union of Students measures affordability every few years. In its last survey, it found that the cost had more than doubled in the last decade. “That is in no way in correlation to the cost of living or inflation,” Mr. McGuire said.


Those seeking to make money in this market, however, argue that they are bringing more choice and quality to the market.


“It’s extremely positive to have high-quality investors putting their money in this sector,” said Richard Simpson, head of property for the Unite Group, the largest provider of student accommodations in Britain. “It will drive standards up,” he said, and create better housing stock. (Unite has “refreshed” all of its buildings in the last 12 months.)

“有高品质的投资者在这个领域投资是极其正面的事,”英国最大的学生住宿提供商联合集团(Unite Group)的地产主管理查德·辛普森(Richard Simpson)说。“那会把标准提高,”他说,而且还能提高市场上现有房产的质量。(联合集团在过去12个月里“翻新”了旗下的所有房屋。)

As the demand for investments in student housing rises, yields are coming down. Yields have dropped sharply, to about 5 percent in central London from 6.25 percent a year ago.


But the sector of privately financed student housing has been marred by some well-publicized failures. Opal, a major student housing company, went bankrupt in 2013, and two other large student housing fund companies were forced to suspend redemptions when they could not sell property to meet the demands.


Yet the Opal bankruptcy proved to be a tipping point.


Greystar started to build scale, teaming up with Goldman Sachs to complete one £300 million deal. Investors from the United States, Russia and the Middle East started pouring in. British institutions, recently surveyed by JLL, want to increase their allocation to the sector. “It’s a global asset class,” Mr. Hillman said. “It’s not a quirky British thing.”

灰星开始扩大规模,与高盛(Goldman Sachs)合作来完成一笔3亿英镑的交易。来自美国、俄罗斯和中东的投资者开始涌入。仲量联行的调查显示,英国的投资机构想要增加在这一领域的份额。“那是一个全球性的资产类别,”希尔曼说。“不是一个古怪的英国玩意儿。”