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New luxury accommodation sold in weeks

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Image credit: Express & Echo
Image credit: Express & Echo

Longbrook Street have been purchased prior to construction in just seven weeks by UK and overseas investors.

The new £17m scheme by Vita students will convert Portland House, a former office building adjacent to John Lewis, into 161 studios and two bedroom apartments ready for the student intake in 2014.

Investors will have been attracted by the seven per cent rental yield for five years that Vita Students have guaranteed.

As well as boasting a central location on Longbrook Street, Portland House will also contain its own ‘state-of-the art’ gym, a games room, laundry facilities and 24/7 on site security. Private and group study areas will also be made available for the tenants, making Portland House a heavy competitor to other independent student properties such as Printworks or Point Exe.

Jeff Elder, one of the investors of the scheme, told Exeter Express and Echo: “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”.

The increasing student population at the University is one of the principle reasons that Exeter was chosen as the location of Vita Student’s latest project. The company already launched their first property in Liverpool last year and similar schemes are also due to open in Bristol and Manchester for 2014.

Sophie Weeks, a second year English student said: “It’s concerning that the University have taken on more students than it can realistically house to a standard that they want. The situation seems especially strained with the closing of University halls of residence Hope and Lazenby. It’s a shame that independent companies have had to step in and that they can take advantage of what the University isn’t catering to”.

The boom in the student property sector has had a significant effect on the market, outperforming all other property asset classes since 2011. Two billion pounds worth of investment was ploughed into the student property sector in the first three quarters of 2012 alone, with properties especially aimed at international students.

Construction work for Portland house is already underway.

Vanessa Tracey, Copy Editor

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