Vita Student First Street

Vita hits 40% let at First Street

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The £25m student accommodation tower at First Street in Manchester is on track to achieve 100% occupancy in its first year, developer Vita said, with 40% of apartments rented since launch in January.

Construction is currently ongoing on the 279-apartment residential tower designed by 5plus Architects, with students due to take up occupancy in September 2014.

According to Vita the majority of interest has come from students attending the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Gavin Duncan, managing director of Vita Student Management, said: "Around two-thirds of the buyers who have purchased the Vita Student apartments are from overseas, with the majority of these coming from South East Asia and the Middle East. All are private investors, although some have bought multiple units."

Vita sold all 279 apartments off plan in 2013, with investors including a mix of UK and overseas parties which Vita said were attracted by the guaranteed 9% rental yield for two years. Most units were sold directly by Vita but some were sold through a network of international agents including Savills in Singapore. Prices started at £77, 950.

Duncan added: "Currently the whole purpose-built student accommodation sector in the UK only accommodates about 11% of full time students in the UK which is around 180,000 beds. This is undoubtedly going to grow due to increasing numbers of students in the UK, a natural decrease of some of the older university stock and the movement of students away from the traditional shared houses.

"Manchester is a prime example of where the market can flourish as it is hugely popular with international and domestic students due to the global reputation of both universities."

Vita Student currently has eight luxury student accommodation developments in cities across the UK, including Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Sheffield.

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