Real Estate Trends Student Housing Market

National Student Housing Market Report – November 2023

National Student Housing Market Report – November 2023
Image by skynesher/

Report highlights

  • The fall 2023 semester closed with a final occupancy of 94.6%, 1.6% lower than the previous year
  • Preleasing for the 2024-2025 school year commenced at a record-high pace, with 25.2% of Yardi 200 beds preleased for the upcoming semester
  • The October average asking rent per bed reached $854 per bed at Yardi 200 markets, up 6.6% year-over-year

Strong start for preleasing

At the end of the fall 2023 school year student housing occupancy rates settled lower than in the previous season, falling 1.6%, to reach 94.6%. This can be attributed in part due to late deliveries and subsequent struggles in leasing freshly delivered product. Occupancy rate in new properties that delivered in 2023 averaged at 81.7% for the fall 2023 semester.

As Yardi Matrix gradually gathers enrollment rates from universities for the current academic year, a growth in enrollment seems to reveal itself. With data from 118 schools as of October, the average enrollment growth was 0.9%. Compared to last year’s 0.4% decline, the rise in new students represents a is a significant boost.

Investment activity was still low: year-to-date through October, 66 dedicated student housing properties changed hands, compared to more than 200 at this point in 2022. Prices were also declined, decreasing from $76,095 year-to-date through October 2022 to $71,703 per bed in the same period in 2023.

As of October, 25.2% percent of beds at Yardi 200 were preleased for the 2024-2025 school year, marking a 15% increase year-over-year. A total of 14 universities recorded a preleasing rate of at least 40% in the first month of the new season, with rent growth averaging at 10.8% across these markets. Oppositely, 33 schools haven’t started preleasing or had a 0% rate at the end of October. Across these markets, rent growth reached only 2.6%.

The top three markets for annual rent growth in percentage preleased as of October were Ohio University-Main Campus (97.7%), University of Wisconsin–Madison (43.0%) and Washington University in St Louis (34%).

Rents for the 2024-2025 school year also increased

Additionally to preleasing being significantly ahead of last year’s average, rent growth also reached 6.6% in October—1.9% higher than at this point in 2022. Rents per bed at Yardi 200 were $854, compared to $801 in October 2022. Rents for the new academic year started off around the amount they ended the fall 2023 leasing season.

Rent growth was more market-specific, with 37 schools recording double-digit annual rent growth through October, while 34 schools had negative rent growth at an average of -2.5%. Large primary state universities that had a good performance in the previous year had the highest rent growth in October, including Purdue University, the University of Tennessee and Arizona State University. Those markets that failed to reach a 90% occupancy for the fall 2023 term registered rent declines. This list comprised the University of Louisville, University of Nevada-Reno, University of Nebraska and University of Southern Mississippi.

Read the full Matrix Student Housing Report-November 2023.

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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