Ayton House, the private student hall opened last year, has been purchased by the student accommodation company Empiric for £26 million.
Their purchase of the 241 bed property marks the company’s first venture in St Andrews.
Chief Executive Paul Hadaway told The Scotsman “Ayton House is a fantastic addition to the Empiric portfolio and marks the company’s first acquisition in St Andrews, a university town which is held in extremely high regard by both domestic and international students,”
“Ayton House is one of only two purpose-built student accommodation schemes in St Andrews, which continues to suffer from a significant supply and demand imbalance. This acquisition is in line with Empiric’s investment criteria and returns profile,” he added.
Empiric said it had been acquired with a first-year rental guarantee from the vendor, Threesixty Developments – formerly Knightsbridge Student Housing.
Ayton House has been the subject of controversy in the past for charging over £10,000 for some studio apartments.
It was also revealed late last year that many of the rooms in Ayton House were in fact unoccupied, with 169 vacant beds between it and St Andrews’ other private hall, East Shore.
Pat Matthewson, President of the Students’ Association said at the time, ““The vacancies in private accommodation are the product of two factors, price point and late advertising. A vacant room is of no use to students if it is unaffordable, an issue on which the Students’ Association has been particularly vocal. Likewise, a room substantially advertised after the accommodation rush is of no use to students, such was the case particularly with the East Shore site, completed just before term time began.
“Our housing challenges are about more than empty beds, they are about the quality and price of student homes.”