Fund brings additional student apartments to Johannesburg

International Housing Solutions (IHS), a global private equity investor in affordable housing in South Africa, is funding the refurbishment of hundreds of apartments near the University of Johannesburg and Wits University, major public transport routes and shopping centres.

Previously co-owned by IHS and Aengus Property Holdings, IHS, with its sterling asset management reputation, now holds 100% ownership of the Student Digz property portfolio following the recent approval by the Competition Commission of the sizeable transaction.

“Student Digz differs from other student developments in that it is not based on the dormitory-style model. All apartments are self-contained, which means that students have their own bathrooms, kitchens and living spaces, and most importantly, privacy and quiet to ensure successful studies,” says Rob Wesselo, managing partner at IHS.

IHS has been steadily building up a portfolio of new-generation student housing solutions in the country’s major urban centres. Contrary to the popular view that student housing is an unpleasant mix between boarding school and down-market apartments, IHS has brought a new vision to the market.

“Since we have taken over complete control of the management of the development, we have launched a massive project to ensure all maintenance was completed and apartments refurbished where necessary. Lots of time, money and human resources have been poured into ensuring students have great living and studying space for the 2012 intake,” says Wesselo.

“The result is modern, clean and inviting apartments where students won’t only live, but be able to enjoy a satisfying lifestyle.”

Wesselo says that as the year draws to a close, students who will be studying in Joburg in 2012 should ensure they have accommodation lined before they put up their feet and enjoy the December holidays.

“There is a significant shortage in quality, affordable student rental accommodation in Joburg, and leaving these arrangements for the New Year may result in students being forced to stay far away from their tertiary institutions or having to settle for sub-standard accommodation,” says Wesselo.

He says there are close to 1 900 accommodation opportunities available, with rentals starting at R1 800.

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