FOREIGN INVESTOR PAYS £5 MILLION FOR PORTFOLIO OF STUDENT HOMES IN LENTON

On Thursday, 14 November, 2013, Bryan Henesey reported in the Nottingham Post that ...

'A mystery foreign investor has paid £5 million to buy a portfolio of student homes in Nottingham.

Sixteen six or seven-bedroom homes in nine Lenton streets have been bought by the investor to create what representatives say will be luxury accommodation.

The deal was concluded this week following seven months of negotiations.

Michael Sahota, who runs property consultants M-S Estates in Lenton Boulevard, Lenton, with wife Satty, represented the homes' former owners, N7 Properties, in the sale. He confirmed the new owner was based outside the UK, and that the £5 million deal was four times bigger than the previous largest sale his firm had been involved in.

Mr Sahota said: "There's a lot of foreign investors who are now looking outside of London for property. If they are looking for rental properties, areas like Nottingham and especially student accommodation, really give them a good return.

"We used to see local people investing, then over the years it was investment from outside of Nottingham. Now it's from outside of the UK."

The portfolio of homes contains 99 bedrooms. The homes will be overseen by a new managing agent, student property specialists SweetSpot, who represented the investor in the deal.

SweetSpot would not reveal details about the investor, other than to say it was the new owner's first major purchase in Nottingham. Nick Webb, managing director of SweetSpot, said tenancy agreements at the 16 properties would be honoured.

He added: "We are delighted to complete the acquisition of this portfolio on behalf of our client. Our goal at SweetSpot is to provide the best student living in the country.

"Nottingham is a logical place to try to achieve this. With two top-class universities, students expect to enjoy a great lifestyle while they study. We are excited by the prospect of broadening our impact in the city and significantly improving the quality of what the market can offer."

SweetSpot says the homes will be refurbished. Its other student homes have included features like broadband and double bedrooms as standard.

Mr Sahota, 40, who was born and raised in Lenton, said he was pleased to have helped to bring such a major investment to the local area.

He added: "SweetSpot have raised the standard of student accommodation in Nottingham. They will raise the standard of this accommodation to luxury, and others will look at them and see if they can do something too."

Eric Plane, director of former owner N7 Properties, said: "Lenton has provided an excellent investment opportunity for us these last six years.

"The wellbeing of our tenants is our main priority, so we are very pleased to say that with this sale, the new management service will continue as a seamless transition, ensuring continuity of the same very high standards for all our students."

Giles Inman, business development officer for East Midlands Property Owners' Association, welcomed the deal. He said: "This sale is set to raise the bar for the student market in Lenton and is yet further proof of the popularity of this area for both property investors and students."

There would be 13 six-bedroom and three seven-bedroom homes.

Four of the homes are located in Kimbolton Avenue, three in Balfour Road and two each in Harrington Drive and Bute Avenue.

The buyer now also owns one house in each of Johnson Road, Teversal Avenue, Cycle Road, Grove Road and Rolleston Drive.

The 17 homes contain 99 bedrooms as well as 16 reception rooms.

Rent paid by students living at the homes in 2012-13 amounted to £401,000.'