Empiric acquires student accommodation property in Reading: Saxon Court

The Board of Empiric Student Property plc (ticker: ESP), the owner and operator of premium student accommodation across the UK, is pleased to announce that the Group has acquired the freehold of an 83 bed, premium student accommodation property in Reading for a consideration of £13.0 million (excluding costs) from the developer, Bywater Properties.

Saxon Court, the Group’s first acquisition in Reading, was newly built for the 2015/16 academic year to a high specification. The property is an all-studio scheme with communal facilities, plus a basement car park, which is let for a five-year term to a local operator. The property is located in central Reading, within a short walk of the railway station and the London Road and Whiteknights campuses of the University of Reading.

The University of Reading, which incorporates Henley Business School as well as the University College of Estate Management, is ranked in the top 30 of The Times Good University Guide 2016.

The property is fully let for the 2015/16 academic year and is letting well for 2016/17.

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

“Saxon Court is Empiric’s first acquisition in Reading which is home to 12,590 full-time students, of whom 31 per cent were international and 24 per cent postgraduates (HESA 2014/15). The city, which has the fastest growing economy in England, is a short train journey to London and is in close proximity to Heathrow Airport and the historic town of Windsor. Reading, therefore, represents an attractive investment location for the Group. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile.”