Walker & Dunlop has closed a $672 million agency financing on the acquisition of a 22-property US student housing portfolio.
The Fannie Mae credit facility was provided to a joint venture between The Scion Group, GIC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which purchased the portfolio from InvenTrust Properties Corporation for $1.4 billion.
Hilary Provinse, SVP of multifamily at Fannie Mae, noted in preopared remarks that Walker & Dunlop has consistently been one of the agency’s top credit facility lenders, especially in the student housing sector. A Fannie Mae credit facility has a minimum term of five years and allows both fixed and variable rates.
The University House Communities Group (UHC) portfolio of Class A student housing comprises 18 stabilized communities and four in development across the US. Through the joint venture, CPPIB and GIC will each own a 47.5 percent interest in UHC. Scion will own the remaining 5 percent and will manage and operate the portfolio.
Walker & Dunlop has closed loans on numerous student housing properties over the last several years. The company originated $617 million in loans backed by student housing properties in 2015 and $694.9 million in financing for student housing in 2014.
The company expects demand for student housing to grow over the next several years, driven by the steady growth in college enrollment as a growing percentage of high school graduates choosing to pursue higher education, the firm stated in March: “This expectation of increased demand combined with strong occupancy trends make student housing an attractive option for borrowers looking to deploy capital in the commercial real estate space.”