The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is acquiring its first lyf-branded coliving property in Sydney, Australia.
The acquisition of the freehold asset is made via the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund (ASRGF)1, Ascott’s private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority. This is ASRGF’s third investment in 2022, following the acquisition of Somerset Hangzhou Bay Ningbo and Citadines Canal Amsterdam in March 2022. To date, ASRGF has invested in 12 properties for close to US$500 million. ASRGF has since divested its first property at returns that outperformed its expected underwriting.
To be named lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, the 197-unit coliving property is slated to open in 2024 and is set to meet the lodging needs of transient young professionals, business and leisure travellers in the city. The coliving property is strategically located in Bondi Junction, Sydney’s fifth largest business district and one of the city’s most affluent residential areas. lyf Bondi Junction Sydney enjoys excellent links to Sydney’s public transportation network and is a short drive to Sydney’s central business district (CBD). The iconic Bondi Beach is a seven-minute drive away. Guests at lyf Bondi Junction Sydney can look forward to vibrant city and community living with several prominent food & beverage, leisure, sporting and entertainment offerings in the immediate vicinity.
In addition to the acquisition of lyf Bondi Junction Sydney2, Ascott also opened its first lyf property in Australia. The 105-unit lyf Collingwood Melbourne is in one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Melbourne; a two-minute walk to Smith Street which was named the ‘world’s coolest street’ according to global culture publication Time Out. The coliving property is surrounded by many exciting retail options, from chic fashion boutiques, edgy art galleries to quirky homeware stores as well as some of the city’s most popular restaurants and bars. lyf Collingwood Melbourne is a 10-minute tram ride to the city’s CBD.
Mr Kevin Goh, CLI’s Chief Executive Officer for Lodging, said: “As a vertically-integrated global lodging business with a strong foothold in Asia, Ascott is able to leverage our full suite of real estate investment and management capabilities to add another quality asset to ASRGF’s portfolio. lyf has proven to not only be a popular but resilient brand. lyf one-north Singapore, owned by Ascott Residence Trust, has a strong occupancy rate of about 90%3 since its opening in November 2021. lyf Funan Singapore, which is owned by ASRGF, opened in 2019 and it also enjoys a robust average occupancy rate of almost 90%4, outperforming its peers despite COVID-19.”
Mr Goh added: “With the short supply of professionally-managed coliving properties in Australia, Ascott is set to raise the bar for the coliving sector as we expand the lyf brand in the country. We continue to see attractive opportunities to grow our lyf brand through our private funds and Ascott Residence Trust as well as via management contracts.”
1 Ascott set up the US$600 million Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund in July 2015 through a 50:50 joint venture with Qatar Investment Authority
2 For more information on lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, please see Annex
3 As at end April 2022
4 As at end April 2022