Real Estate Trends Student Housing Market

Another Record-Breaking Month of Preleasing Activity

Another Record-Breaking Month of Preleasing Activity
Photo by Antoine Gayraud/Unsplash

The student housing sector is showing strength, Yardi Matrix data indicates, as the economy edges into a tougher stint.

The U.S. student housing industry has cemented its place as one of the hottest markets in real estate as fundamentals continue to break records despite a slowing economy. As of February, 63% of bedrooms were preleased at Yardi 200 universities, well above 2021 and 2022, which were both strong years for the sector. Thirty-seven universities in the Yardi 200 had over 75% of their bedrooms preleased as of February, and a few were almost fully preleased for the upcoming term.

Many universities saw significant increases in leasing activity for the 2023 school year, with five schools recording year-over-year increases in preleasing above the 40 percent mark as of February. The University of Southern Mississippi led the way with growth of 44.0%, while Johns Hopkins University registered 41.6% growth, the University of Cincinnati 41.0%, Oregon State University 40.9% and the University of Mississippi 40.0%. These universities are located across the country, showcasing broad-based demand for dedicated off-campus student housing.

Research Universities Lead the Way

In terms of actual percentage of bedrooms preleased as of February, Texas Christian University was fully preleased, while the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (99.1%) and the University of California-Santa Barbara (98.5%) rounded out the top three universities with the most bedrooms preleased.

Nine of the 10 schools with the highest preleasing rates among Yardi 200 universities were in the R1 research cohort, showcasing the demand that major research schools can generate. Overall, 25 of the top 30 universities by overall preleasing rate among the Yardi 200 were R1 schools.

About the author

Alex Girda

Alex Girda is a senior editor with Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive who has a decade of experience within the real estate industry. Following a stint as a researcher for PropertyShark, he became a city page editor for the two trade publications, and now also works with Yardi Matrix on their multifamily metro outlooks.

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