Real Estate Trends Student Housing Market

Student Housing Market Report – June 2024

Student Housing Market Report June 2024
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Student housing preleasing continued to match last year’s record pace, according to the latest Yardi Matrix national student housing market report.

Report highlights

  • Preleasing at Yardi 200 schools reached 80% in May—on par with last year
  • The average rent per bedroom clocked in at $897, marking a new high, with rent growth continuing to decelerate
  • Student housing sales are behind last year, and significantly behind an average year

Preleasing matches last year’s pace

As of May, preleasing at Yardi 200 universities hit 80%, marking a 10-basis-point increase compared to the same period in 2023. Even though the first part of the season preleasing started stronger than in the previous year, it largely followed last year’s record pace over the past few months. Experts predict that FAFSA processing has already impacted and could continue to affect the pace of preleasing.

Five markets achieved 100% preleased in May, while 34 schools were more than 90 percent preleased. Universities with at least 10 student housing properties that hit high preleasing rates included James Madison (97%), Kentucky (96.6%), Purdue (95.1%), Tennessee (94.3%) and Mizzou (94%). The top three schools for annual growth in percentage preleased were central Michigan (20.1%), Southern California (18.9%) and Bowling Green (18.5%).

On the other side of the spectrum, 25 schools were less than 60% preleased in May, with the majority being private and secondary/tertiary institutions. The list of schools with such low rates comprised University of Alabama-Birmingham (59.1%), UC-Berkeley (57.9%), UT-Arlington (55.7%), Louisiana Tech (50.8%) and the University of Memphis (45.1%).

Student housing sales lagged in 2024, with only 26 properties changing hands year-to-date through May, compared to 33 properties sold in the same period in 2023. Despite a lower sales volume, the average price per bed reached $87,500, ahead of an average of $80,000 per bed recorded between 2017 and 2023.

Rent growth moderated at 5.3%

As of May, rent growth clocked in at 5.3% at Yardi 200, decreasing from the 5.7% recorded a month prior. Throughout the season, rent growth averaged 6.0%. In a game of winners and losers, a total of 41 schools posted double-digit rent growth and 34 markets registered rent declines.

In numerous markets, high rent growth went hand in hand with strong preleasing, including Tennessee (20.2% rent growth, 94.3% preleased), Clemson (15.6%, 93.8%), Appalachian State (15.2%, 95.4%) and Ole Miss (14.7%, 100%). However, in a few markets high rent growth was associated with slower preleasing, such as Cornell (18.4% rent growth, 70.1% preleased and 16.8% behind last year), Clemson (15.6%, 85.6%, 8.2% behind) and UNC Charlotte (14%, 67.9%, 10% behind).

Read the full Yardi Matrix National Student Housing Market Report: June 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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