Union Investment has acquired Living House Berlin, a co-living concept with 172 furnished rooms, for its Urban Living Nr. 1 special fund. It is the first smart building in the student accommodation sector. The property, which opened in autumn 2018 and was fully let from the start, is located some 400 metres from the campus of HTWBerlin.With around 14,000 students, the HTW is the largest university of applied sciences in Berlin. The vendor and developer is Carnaby Capital GmbH. The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
Living House Berlin offers 172 furnished rooms across 53 shared apartments, which each have two to five private rooms. The six-storey KfW 55 energy efficient new build was designed by Berlin-based architects Bräunlin + Kolb. The average all-in rent is under EUR 500 per month, making it very attractive to HTW students, students of other institutions and young professionals.
“Living House Berlin sets benchmarks for contemporary student accommodation in Germany and is the first development project to be completed in line with Carnaby Capital’s smart building concept,” said Tom Leppin, founder and managing partner of Carnaby Capital. “We are delighted to have sold the building to a large institutional investor like Union Investment as this demonstrates great confidence in our product,” added Carnaby Capital shareholder Dr. Per Leßmann.
“Carnaby Capital’s co-living concept is a compelling response to the problem of ever increasing rents. We found the all-in monthly rent of under EUR 500 and close proximity to the HTW campus highly attractive. Based on the level of rent, we anticipate that it will be possible to let rooms in Living House Berlin to a relatively large number of students. As such, we expect assured long-term letting viability.”
Living House Berlin is the fifth acquisition for the Urban Living Nr. 1 special fund, which focuses on micro-apartments for a range of different target groups. The fund invests in newer existing properties and in selected development projects in Germany and other European countries.
The unique feature of Living House Berlin is its comprehensive digital concept. All relevant processes, from building and tenant management to administration, are digitised. To enable this, Union Investment uses the vendor’s new REOS (Real Estate Operating System) platform. This platform allows prospective tenants to take a virtual 360-degree tour and also supports a fully digitised lettings process, including contract signing. It makes many of the processes faster. Other digital services include monitoring of consumption data relating to water, electricity and heating, calculation of utility costs, key management, a tenant portal with integrated app and information on the use of facilities such as a parcel station or the washing machines in the building.
“Tenants of Living House Berlin make extensive use of the operating platform’s digitised services. This proves that we accurately anticipated the needs of our target audience when designing the platform,” said Tom Leppin.
Union Investment was advised on the legal aspects of the acquisition by GSK and on technical aspects by ES EnviroSustain. Watson Farley Williams provided tax advice to the buyer.
Source : Union Investment