National Student Housing Report – November 2023
The new academic year brought the fastest start ever for student housing preleasing.
The student housing sector kicked off the new leasing season on an exceptionally high note, according to the latest report by Yardi Matrix. As of October, preleasing at Yardi 200 universities stood at 25.2 percent—significantly outperforming last year’s record of 10.4 percent for the month.
Asking rents for the 2024-2025 school year increased by 6.6 percent year-over-year at Yardi 200. The schools that have some of the fastest growing preleasing rates already recorded 15-25 percent increases in rents. Investment activity was still significantly slower than at this point last year, with the average price per bed also down.
Yardi Matrix has also started gathering enrollment rates, with the first findings indicating a rebound in enrollment growth, compared to the prior academic year. Based on data from 118 schools, the average growth in enrollment reached 0.9 percent on a year-over-year basis.
Inspired by the market’s strong performance, operators began preleasing earlier this year. As of October, more than one in every four beds across Yardi 200 was preleased for the fall 2024 school year.
Student housing preleasing was up 15 percent year-over-year
A total of 14 universities across Yardi 200 were more than 40 percent preleased as of October, significantly higher than the two markets recorded at that point last year. Rent growth at these schools was also high, averaging 10.8 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, 33 markets with four or more properties haven’t started preleasing yet or had a 0 percent preleasing rate at the end of October.
October rent growth was exceptionally strong, reaching 6.6 percent and outperforming last year’s average of 4.7 percent. Rents at Yardi 200 hit $854 per bed, up by $53 compared to October 2022 levels.
A total of 37 markets across Yardi 200 institutions registered double-digit rent growth on a year-over-year basis, averaging at 15.1 percent, while 34 markets showed rent declines.
Some of the largest primary state universities that performed exceptionally well last year had the highest rent growth, including Purdue University, the University of Tennessee, Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas. These large schools closed the fall 2023 leasing year with a more than 99 percent occupancy rate and boasted a 20 percent average rent growth in October.