July 15, 2021
International Campus Group (IC Group), a pioneer in institutionally owned European Student Housing and Micro Living offerings, celebrates its tenth anniversary with strategic growth plans for new micro living products with an investment focus on Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and other northern European countries.
IC Group aims to increase its current 5,800 bed count under construction and operation to up to 25,000 beds by 2025. Equity financing of new projects will be funded on-balance sheet, targeting a portfolio size of at least one billion euros.
For 2021, the Company has grown its portfolio by 400 million euros through the acquisition of projects in Aachen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Hamburg and Munich. The growth is being made possible by its shareholder Brookfield, which has held a majority stake in the company since 2018.
Rainer Nonnengässer, Executive Chairman of IC Group: "When we started developing modern student apartments under the brand name ‘THE FIZZ’ ten years ago, interest from institutional investors in Germany was nearly zero. Today, Student Housing is an important component of the portfolio strategy for many investors. It was also the starting point for many innovative products in the Micro Living segment, which have now established themselves as professional asset classes. We will strategically add new Micro Living concepts to the International Campus platform in the near future, clearly focus our investments geographically, and build our own value-add portfolio."
According to a study by Cushman & Wakefield from April 2021, the transaction volume in the Micro Living sector was around EUR 660 million in 2020. This was less than in previous years, but the global COVID pandemic and a lack of products were limiting factors. Cushman & Wakefield assumes that the market for micro apartments will continue to grow and that investor interest will remain high. In the study, the experts assume that transaction volumes will rise again in the future.
As part of its product expansion, IC Group will launch the Micro Living product "HVNS" (pronounced "havens" for harbor). The concept taps into to professionals seeking uncomplicated, turnkey living in key urban centres. With this offer, IC Group provides a solution for the lack of available smaller unit sizes and thus serves the steadily growing surplus demand in this segment. The first "HVNS" will open later this year in Hamburg with 214 micro apartments set to be occupied in October.
Currently, a total of over 5,800 apartments are in operation and under construction in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic. Growth to up to 25,000 beds is planned by 2025.
Gawain Smart, CEO of IC Group, adds: "When it comes to providing adequate housing options for students and professionals, the markets relevant to us are behind the UK and North America. This forces many into less than optimal co-living experiences, and we want to close this gap with a supply that meets this need. But we also provide our investors with the stable and predictable income prospects found in residential markets today."
Founded in 2011, International Campus Group develops and operates urban living concepts for specific phases of life in Northern Europe. The housing concept "THE FIZZ" is geared towards the needs of students and learners, while the "HVNS" (English "havens") offer is primarily adapted to the needs of professionals. The houses offer modern, fully furnished apartments in central locations, professional house management, useful services and lively communities. Currently, more than 5,800 apartments are in operation and under construction in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. The company, with offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Amsterdam and Luxembourg, employs around 150 people.