The UK’s student accommodation market was recently calculated by realtor CBRE as having generated £2.7 billion in transactions in 2012. With the exception of the largest operator none of the top five operators are listed or otherwise in obviously British public ownership. The lack of liquidity is a definite drawback for investment in student accommodation. There’s growing American money in the UK’s student accommodation investment market, and Middle Eastern, Shari’ah-compliant investment – such as the AUB UK Student Accommodation Fund, which hails out of the Ahli United Bank of Bahrain. A REIT, a real estate investment trust, could serve as a vehicle for investment in this part of the UK’s real estate sector in order to instill a high level of investor confidence, which in turn aids liquidity.
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