Real Estate Trends Student Housing Market

National Student Housing Market Report – January 2024

National Student Housing Market Report January 2024
Image by blackCAT/iStockphoto.com

Report highlights

  • Preleasing for the fall 2023 semester settled at 94.6%, slightly below the 96.2% recorded for the previous school year
  • Preleasing for the 2024-2025 academic year hit a new record high in December, at 47.3%
  • The average asking rent climbed to $858 per bed in December, with annual rent growth reaching 4.9%—down from its pace of 6.4% recorded in October
  • Sales have been on a downward trend, as high interest rates continue to affect investor activity

Preleasing reaches new record in December

The average December preleasing rate among Yardi 200 markets was 8.9% ahead of last year’s pace, with a total of 47.3% of beds were preleased for the 2024-2025 school year. This record growth is also due to operators starting preleasing earlier each year.

More than a quarter of Yardi 200 institutions were at least 50% preleased for the upcoming school year as of December, with 15 markets at least 70% preleased. James Madison University (63.9%), University of Mississippi (53.6%) and Binghamton University (46.8%) had the biggest jumps in percentage of beds preleased year-over-year.

Yardi Matrix collected enrollment data from more than 150 schools so far, with these partial results pointing towards a rebound in enrollment growth. Across these universities, enrollment was up 1.4% compared to the previous academic year.

Similar to most real estate sectors, student housing sales have decreased through 2023. Preliminary 2023 data shows that only 73 properties changed hands last year across Yardi 200 markets. By comparison, in 2021 and 2022 the annual average was 205 properties. Prices have also gone down, decreasing from $78,884 per bed in 2021 and 2022 to $75,310 per bed in 2023.

Rent growth still solid, but starting to slow

As of December 2023, the average rent per bed at Yardi 200 schools averaged at $858, marking a 4.9% increase over 12 months. Annual rent growth has slowed, from the 6.4% recorded earlier in the leasing season and was also lower than the 6% growth registered in December 2022. A total of 25 markets had double-digit rent growth at the end of 2023, while 28 schools showed declines in rent on a year-over-year basis.

With preleasing at another record high, Yardi Matrix predicts that rent growth will remain above average throughout the leasing season. A high percentage of markets that had the biggest rent growth had also the highest preleasing rates, including Tennessee–Knoxville, Ole Miss, Purdue and Arkansas—all of which were at least 79% preleased.

Read the full Matrix Student Housing Report-January 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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