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Exeter proves to be hot spot for investors in student property

Unprecedented demand from investors for the luxury Vita Student apartments on Longbrook Street in Exeter city centre has led to the £17 million scheme selling out in just seven weeks.

All 161 apartments in Portland House have been purchased off-plan by UK and overseas investors who were attracted by the guaranteed 7% rental yield for five years and the central location and premium specification of the project.

Work has also started on-site by main contractor Create Construction, with the project due to complete for the 2014/15 student intake.

Investment opportunities in the student property market have been increasingly sought after in recent years and global property consultancy Knight Frank’s 2014 report on the sector shows that total returns from student accommodation have outperformed all other property asset classes since 2011. The report also predicts this trend will continue well into next year thanks to a maturing market and increasing student demand.

Exeter was chosen as the location for a luxury student scheme due to the academic reputation of the university and increasing student population which has been boosted by an influx of overseas students.

COO of Vita Ventures, Mark Oakes, said: “Exeter was chosen as a location for a Vita Student project due to the severe undersupply of suitable accommodation in the city. The academic excellence of the University means that the city is very attractive to investors because the student population will continue to grow, further increasing the need for accommodation.

“The speed at which our development has sold proves that our investment model is successfully catering for the market demand for student property.”

One of the investors in the scheme, Jeff Elder commented: “After examining the company and the student property sector I realised that the yields that can be achieved are stronger than any other property group – and indeed any savings group at the moment. Vita Student’s luxury proposition stacked up well with my market research and the assured 7% rental return for five years also put my mind at rest that my money would be working hard for me.”

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