What to Expect from Student Housing in 2018

Student housing continues to be a dynamic part of the multifamily market. In the upcoming year, developers will be focusing on creating more affordable housing options in order to satisfy students’ needs

The student housing sector was a magnet for both foreign and private investment this year and is expected to draw continued interest in the upcoming year. Developers and designers are beginning to focus on offering students a more welcoming feel. Student housing accommodations are not what they used to be. No more classic dorm rooms with limited amenities. Newer projects are building on these trends by incorporating spaces for advising, programmed events, group study, wellness and dining into campus housing facilities.MHN Blog picture

Not every student can afford the amenity-rich, super party developments that dominated the student housing scene over the last 10 years. Developers are putting a lot of attention in students’ needs. But what do students want in accommodations? They don’t want a rooftop infinity pool or other luxury amenities, instead, they are looking for more basic amenities such as secure entrances and exits, proximity to universities, internet access and a decent room size.

In many cities, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many people to find affordable housing. As a result, developers are creating micro-housing units that provide housing options near universities at a reasonable price point. Instead of the traditional rooms with two beds, dorms will feature one bed, along with a small space to study and prepare food, which includes a two-burner stove, storage, sink and a small fridge. Micro-housing frees up a lot of space so schools can focus on expanding the size of common areas while still giving each student the privacy they need. Common areas will be large enough to have separate places to watch TV, socialize with friends, or meet with a tutor for help with homework. Furthermore, common areas will be increasingly important in the future student housing designs.

Besides the affordability issue, more and more companies are trying to use environmentally friendly materials and more cost-efficient construction systems, such as Prescient’s Digital Thread system, that has an integrated software, engineering service, pre-manufactured framing system and on-site assembly process that is ideal for tight schedules that are common with student housing projects.

More students don’t own a car or are opting to go without one. Housing options that are close to campus and the rise of Uber are making it possible for developers to devote less space for parking cars, reducing construction cost and allowing for more affordable rents.

On the other hand, the current generation of students is much more design-savvy than previous generations. Social media, along with the rise of design magazines and television programs, contribute to a recognition of aesthetics as a reflection of the student’s identity. So, where they live and how it looks says a lot about who they are.

In the next year, developers will be focusing mostly on creating more affordable housing options, but of course, there are also the luxurious student housing buildings for those who can afford this type of accommodation. These colleges boast everything from a stress-relieving ball pit to televisions in every room. Every room has its own private bed and bath, fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets and a private washer and dryer. Common area amenities include gaming, fitness centers, executive meeting rooms, spa with a sauna, steam room and tanning beds, rooftop infinity pool and different outdoor sport courts.