Student housing company acquires $210 million in assets, sets sights on a successful 2015

AUSTIN, Texas Campus Advantage has topped its own expectations—and led the student housing industry—in acquiring more than $210 million in assets in 2014 while also delivering record retention, occupancy and rental rate growth across the portfolios it manages.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it expected to acquire $150 million to $200 million in assets in 2014 but easily exceeded that number with the acquisition of seven properties and more than $210 million in assets. The company has been outperforming the industry since January 2013. For the period of January 2013 through October 2014, Campus Advantage was the largest acquirer of student housing assets with $354 million in acquisitions, according to Real Capital Analytics.

“This year we exceeded our acquisition goals by more than $10 million over what we expected, and we look forward to doing the same next year,” said Mike Peter, President and CEO of Campus Advantage. “In 2015, we are looking to close on another $200 million in assets, continue to expand our third-party management contracts and to grow our consulting business.”

The company already has several new development deals in the pipeline and plans to purchase five additional communities in the new year, he said. Campus Advantage also recently broke ground on The Bradford in Knoxville, in which it will serve as developer and operator.

“Campus Advantage was able to achieve its acquisition goals due to our diligent efforts to identify best-in-class student housing properties and our reputation within the industry of having surety of close,” said Michael Orsak, senior vice president of investments. “Our low leverage and diligence in underwriting ensured we closed transactions at 99.9 percent of original contract price.”

Part of the reason for the company’s success this past year is in its ability to deliver significant return on investment for its partners. For example, the company achieved a record 47 percent returning resident ratio portfolio-wide and a 96.4 percent occupancy rate among the Campus Advantage-controlled housing portfolio for the 2014/2015 school year while delivering an average effective rental increase of 2.9 percent.

Hyundai Team

A team of the company’s student housing experts also recently completed a six-month consulting engagement in Vladivostok, Russia, where they worked with university and local officials to help establish Far Eastern Federal University as a world-class higher education institution. The team even helped launch Russia’s first resident assistant program. Back at home, Campus Advantage’s award-winning Students First™ Residence Life program hosted nearly 3,500 events during the 2013/2014 academic year with an attendance of more than 100,000 students.

“From our time in Russia to being a leading acquirer of student housing assets, we have made great strides across all areas of the company and I look forward to seeing even more progress and growth in the coming year,” Peter said.

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