Empiric acquires student accommodation property in Oxford: Stonemason House

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (ESP), the owner and operator of premium student accommodation across the UK, is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired the freehold of a 44 bed student accommodation property in Oxford for £4.5 million (excluding costs).

Home to The University of Oxford (internationally recognised as one of the best universities worldwide and in the UK) and its Said Business School and Oxford Brookes University, Oxford is one of the world’s most well-known university cities. There were over 32,000 full-time higher education students for the 2014/15 academic year (according to the latest available HESA statistics), of which 31.8% were international students and 29.1% were postgraduates.

Stonemason House was built in 2011 as a new build scheme in time for the 2011/12 academic year.  The property comprises 44 beds in a mix of four, five, six and seven-bed en-suite apartments.  The property is located just off Cowley Road, a vibrant and multi-cultural area of Oxford, with bars, restaurants and boutique shops, popular with students from both universities.

The property has been acquired from a local housing association and since completion in 2011 has been leased to St Cross College of The University of Oxford.  The current three-year lease is due to expire in September 2017.  The property will be managed through the Company’s Hello Student® operating platform.

Paul Hadaway, Chief Executive of Empiric Student Property plc, commented:

“Stonemason House is our first acquisition in Oxford, a city synonymous with higher education in the UK.  The property benefits from an existing lease with St Cross College, guaranteeing full occupancy for the term of the lease.  We are very pleased to have been able to acquire this property in a market with limited private sector, purpose-built student accommodation. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile.”