Enabling a better student life in Brazil

In partnership with VBI Real Estate, we are creating some of the first dedicated accommodation for students in Brazil, meaning they no longer need to rely on individually managed private residences.

The objective of this partnership is to acquire underutilised buildings close to university campuses and retrofit them into high-quality housing, enabling students to live with their peers and maximise their university experience.

Following the acquisition of two more assets last year, there are now five in total, located close to universities in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The first building to open welcomed its first students in January 2020, with a second asset launched later in the first quarter of 2020 and the third opened in January 2021.

Occupancy rates have been lower than expected due to Covid-19, but long-term demand is expected to be high; Brazil has the fourth largest undergraduate population in the world, with around 30% of students studying outside their hometowns.

Specialist student accommodation provider ULiving, which markets and manages all the buildings, has focused on creating a safe living environment for students during the pandemic.

Tenants have been offered ‘worry free leases’, meaning if their universities do not reopen, they can break their lease at no cost. This has removed the difficult decision about whether to commit to accommodation away from home knowing there is a possibility their place of study may have to close. Sixteen percent of tenants ended up breaking the lease in this way.

Students were also offered rent discounted at 20% between April and July and 10% in August.

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