By Scott Wright

A GLASGOW-based property developer has sold two major student accommodation buildings in a deal described as the biggest of its kind since the UK moved into lockdown in March.

London & Scottish Property Investment Management (LSPIM) offloaded the blocks in Sheffield and Leeds, which currently provide homes for more than 700 students, to an unnamed investor from the Far East.

LSPIM developed and sold the properties for a US-based private investor in what had been its first foray into the purpose-built student accommodation market. It also signalled its appetite to do more deals in the sector, with strong interest from overseas investors in spite of concerns over student numbers for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Sheffield property includes 355 luxury studio bedrooms, developed by LSPIM in the former Crown House office block that it acquired in 2015. The property was opened to students in September 2017.

In Leeds, LSPIM developed the former Symons House office building into a 22-storey block with capacity for 351 beds, which opened in January this year.

Both properties have 8,000 square feet of amenity space with lounges, a study area, private dining space, cinema, games area, fitness suite and outdoor areas with barbecue and open-air cinema.

Stephen Inglis, chief executive of LSPIM, said: “We are very pleased with the level of interest shown in these properties. We have developed a sound business model and have good relationships with both lenders and investors. As a result, these two projects – our first in the student accommodation sector – have been hugely successful for us. Having proved that the model works, we intend to reinvest the proceeds in further projects.”

Rachel Pengilley, partner at Knight Frank, which marketed the properties, said: “This transaction represents the most significant deal in the UK student accommodation market since we entered lockdown in March.”