National Real Estate Investor's Bendix Anderson looks at the transaction market for student housing properties, as interest in the sector remains high among investors.

About $8.4 billion in student housing properties changed hands over the 12-month period ending in the second quarter, according to Real Capital Analytics, a big bump up from the $5.4 billion in deals seen the year before. In fact, in just the first six months of 2016 alone, about $5.7 billion in transactions were completed.

“It’s frothy and it’s active,” says Dorothy Jackman, managing director of student housing services for real estate services firm Colliers International.

... That volume includes a few large deals, like the $1.4 billion purchase of the University House Communities Group portfolio of student housing properties by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, GIC, and The Scion Group.

“Usually, most buying takes place in the fall, when investors are most comfortable with the next year’s net operating income,” says Jackman. If that pattern repeats itself this year, the volume of transactions will rise even higher this fall, after the results are in for the lease-up activity for the start of the new school year.

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