The properties include River Street Tower in Manchester, Holbrook and Pound Field in London, and City Point in Coventry, which together comprise a total of 1,807 beds.
The 100-home BTR asset City Club, located in Coventry, was also part of the multi-million-pound deal, which will be operated as housing for young professionals.
The five properties will be owned and managed by Greystar, which plans to continue to invest to maximise value through leasing, asset improvements and other capital projects.
Existing staff at the properties will join the team at Greystar as part the acquisition.
The deal highlights the continued expansion plans of Downing, which has over £1bn worth of current development in the pipeline at sites across the UK.
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George Downing, founder of Downing, said: “We invested heavily to develop these sites to the highest possible standard and are extremely proud of what we have achieved.
“All assets currently have strong occupancy and boast high quality amenities including gyms, cinema rooms and terraces.
“It is a reflection of the quality of these assets and Downing’s approach that we secured such strong interest from large institutional investors.
“We are proud to be setting the standards in terms of design, quality of build and management of these residential schemes, and also to be setting the bar in terms of transformational place-making and regeneration.
Ben Mowbray, senior director for UK Investment at Greystar, said: "Our growth strategy in the UK is underpinned by strong, long-term market fundamentals.
“Greystar is well positioned to capitalise on increasing demand for high-quality student accommodation.
“We will be introducing young professional housing to our portfolio in the UK for the first time, which has been very successful in our other European markets.”