Real Estate Trends Student Housing Market

Student Housing Market Report – February 2024

National Student Housing Market Report February 2024
Photo by Jovanmandic/

Read the latest Yardi Matrix Student Housing Market Report.

Report highlights

  • Preleasing for the 2024-2025 school year reached new highs, hitting 54.5% in January
  • The average asking rate clocked in at $863 per bed that same month, while rent growth continued to slow
  • Preliminary data points toward a 0.8 percent increase in enrollment across Yardi 200 schools
  • Investment activity remains well below 2021 and 2022 levels, with 76 properties sold in 2023

Strong demand pushes preleasing above 50%

With operators starting preleasing earlier each year and most universities registering a growth in enrollment, demand in the sector soared, according to the latest Yardi Matrix student housing market report. Based on data gathered from 165 schools, total enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year was up 0.8% compared to the previous year.

While most student housing fundamentals are performing extremely well, investment numbers—in line with a general trend within the real estate sector—were depressed. Due to the current unfavorable economic environment for transactions, only 76 properties changed hands, half of the previous five year’s average.

As of January, the average preleasing rate at Yardi 200 schools reached 54.5%, up 7.1% since the same period last year and 15% higher than the five-year average. A total of 51 schools had a preleasing rate that exceeded 60% in January, compared to only 28 at the same point last year.

A cluster of 12 universities were more than 80% preleased, including University of Tennessee, University of Arkansas and Purdue. At the other end of the spectrum, 34 schools were less than 30% preleased—a smaller number than last year’s 50 markets. As of January 2024, the schools with the highest year-over-year growth in percentage preleased were University of Mississippi (47.8%), Binghamton University (39.1%) and Oregon State (27.5%).

Rents still high, while growth decreases

As of January, rents at Yardi 200 schools averaged $863 per bed, marking a 4.4% increase on a year-over-year basis. Rent growth decelerated, with the average asking rate only 0.1% higher than in December. The annual rent growth was down from 6.3% recorded a year ago and 6.5% at the beginning of the leasing season.

A total of 24 universities had double-digit rent growth in January, while 32 posted rent growth of less than -0.5%. In general, markets with the biggest rent growth had also high enrollment growth and preleasing rates. Exceeding an 80% preleasing rate and 4% enrollment growth, the group of schools with the highest rent growth included Tennessee, Ole Miss, Purdue and Kentucky.

Read the full Matrix Student Housing Report-February 2024.

About the author

Beata Lorincz

With a background in architecture, Beata Lorincz has been an associate editor with Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News since 2017. Her current work centers around architecture and design, the student housing sector and data-driven updates on the office market.

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