Student accommodation attracts interest from wealthy Russians

on Feb 13, 2015
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Articles on PropertyWeek and in The Guardian have reported that three Russian billionaires are considering purchasing student accommodation business Pure Student Living. According to The Guardian, the business which is owned by the Carlyle Group, boasts a west London development on the site of the former Hammersmith Palais, where the Beatles and the Rolling Stones performed. The site now has 418 high-tech student rooms with “exceptional space and beautiful interior design” and is thought to be worth in the region of £535 million. Reportedly, the rent is £22,360 per academic year.

The three billionaires Mikhail Fridman, German Khan and Alexi Kuzmichev, have an estimated combined worth of £20 billion and as the rouble continues to struggle against the dollar, it is thought that an increasing number of rich Russians are looking for investment opportunities in more stable markets in order to protect their wealth.
The conflict in Ukraine could well continue, despite the latest ceasefire and there is a strong possibility that increased sanctions could further affect the value of the of Russia’s currency. In light of these political and economic conditions, it makes sense for the billionaires to consider investing in the UK property market.

However, as a recent survey by RICS revealed, sentiment towards the London property market may have begun to level off somewhat. Market activity in January was not as frenetic as expected and although residential property prices across the UK continue to grow, there are signs that the rate of growth is slowing. That being said, as I have illustrated in other articles, student accommodation offers a comparatively safe bet for investors. Safer than the rouble anyway

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