National Student Housing Report – June 2024

Preleasing hit 80 percent in May, according to the latest report from Yardi Matrix.

Image of students talking
Student housing preleasing continued to match last year’s record pace, driven by strong enrollment trends and limited new supply. Image by davidf/iStockphoto.com

On par with last year’s figure, student housing preleasing at Yardi 200 universities reached 80 percent in May, according to the latest report from Yardi Matrix. The preleasing growth rate has slowed in recent months, with the delay of FAFSA processing possibly impacting numbers.

The average rent per bed clocked in at $897 that month, marking a new high and 5.3 percent above last year’s figure at this point. Markets that have high preleasing rates also boasted the most robust rent growth rates.

Yardi Matrix predicts that 45,495 beds will come online at Yardi 200 schools this year, significantly more than 2023’s 37,576 beds. The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida International, the University of Texas-Austin, ASU-Downtown and UC-Davis are among the markets with the largest incoming pipelines this year, all exceeding 2,000 beds.

Student housing sales are lagging last year’s volume through May, as the current interest rate environment continues to impact investment. In the first four months of 2024, only 26 properties changed hands, compared to last year’s volume of 33 communities.

Preleasing in line with last year’s record high

At 80 percent, preleasing at Yardi 200 universities was 6.8 percent above last year’s pace at this point. Five universities reached 100 percent occupancy in May, while 34 schools exceeded a 90 percent preleasing rate. Universities with the highest year-over-year growth in percentage preleased were Central Michigan (20.1 percent), Southern California (18.9 percent), Bowling Green State (18.5 percent), University of Nebraska (17.3 percent) and University of Missouri (16.1 percent).

On the other hand, 25 markets had preleasing rates below 60 percent, including the University of Alabama-Birmingham (59.1 percent), UC-Berkeley (57.9 percent), UT-Arlington (55.7 percent), Louisiana Tech (50.8 percent) and the University of Memphis (45.1 percent).

Down from the 5.7 percent recorded in April, student housing rent growth decreased to 5.3 percent in May, with rent growth averaging 6 percent throughout the entire leasing season. A group of 41 markets posted double-digit rent growth in May, while 34 schools registered rent declines.

In many cases, high rent growth came hand in hand with strong preleasing. These high-performing markets included Tennessee (20.2 percent rent growth, 94.3 percent preleased), Clemson (15.6 percent, 93.8 percent), Appalachian State (15.2 percent, 95.4 percent) and Ole Miss (14.7 percent, 100 percent).

Read the full Yardi Matrix report.

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