Africa’s first student accommodation REIT records Ksh855 million full year profit

By Elijah Odhiambo

Acorn Investment Management Limited (AIML), a developer of hostels for students, has reported a net profit of Ksh855 million for the year ended December 31, 2022.

The Africa’s first student accommodation REIT was unveiled by Acorn Holdings, on February 2021 in Nairobi.

AIML operates Qwetu and Qejani student residences in Nairobi and surrounding areas.

The profits were generated by the Acorn Student Accommodation Income REIT (ASA I-REIT) and the Acorn Student Accommodation Development REIT (ASA D-REIT).

Despite the disruption of the academic calendar brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, AIML attributes its high income to solid occupancy across all of its operational properties, high rent, and the scaling up of the portfolio through the acquisition of two new assets , Qwetu Parklands and Qwetu Aberdare Heights.

“2022 was not without its headwinds and this was evidenced by the overall performance of the capital markets,” Acorn’s AIML Managing Director Raghav Gandhi said.

“The ASA REITs nevertheless exhibited strong growth despite the challenging environment, which speaks volumes to the rationale for investing in REITs, which offer a consistent and predictable return profile – after all, we are announcing our fourth straight dividend from the ASA I-REIT,” Gadhi added.

While ASA D-REIT posted a Ksh349.7 million income, ASA I-REIT raised a Ksh442 million during the period.

The MD further noted that the company’s focus during the past year was to lay the foundations for future growth and this included the validation of the investment thesis through the scaling up of the ASA REITs and the first milestone transaction between the ASA D-REIT and the ASA I-REIT.

“We believe that our work in 2022 holds us in good stead for the upcoming phase of further growth,” he said.

Half Year 2022 profit

Acorn Investment Management Ltd (AIML) announced a 13 percent growth in profit for the half-year ended June.

The profits came from Acorn Student Accommodation Development REIT (ASA D-REIT) and the Acorn Student Accommodation Income REIT (ASA I-REIT), which are together called, ASA REITs, bringin the gains made to Ksh297 million, in increase compared to Ksh263 million same period in 2021.

The ASA D-REIT has now built significant momentum with the portfolio comprising three operational properties, resulting in rental revenue of Ksh139 million, compared to Ksh11 million last year.

Charge per student

Acorn Holdings are currently targeting over 50,000 students in Kenya.

The company charges between Ksh15,000 and Ksh16,500 for a room on the premium Qwetu brand and between Ksh7,500 and Ksh12,500 under the Qejani brand.

According to, The REIT was 100 percent Subscribed at launch, raising US$22 Million. InfraCo Africa, the part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), featured as an anchor investor with a commitment of over US$10 million.

Acorn currently runs five properties located within Nairobi under the Qwetu brand with a 3,000 bed capacity.

Additionally, the company’s development pipeline currently consists of another 5000 beds across six development projects in Nairobi with completion expected over the next three years.

Its market offering cuts across range, from a middle-income ranging between US$138 to US$295 per bed monthly, to the ongoing affordable mass- market offering ranging between US$74 to US$111 per bed per month.



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