Top 5 Universities for Student Housing Development
Find out which schools have the largest under-construction pipelines this fall.
The student housing market’s strong performance has bolstered investor confidence in the sector. As of September, more than 186,000 bedrooms were in various stages of development across Yardi 200 schools, including 80,318 bedrooms under construction. Unlike other asset classes, student housing development stood strong in 2023, with multiple large projects breaking ground across the country.
Preleasing for the fall 2023 school year at Yardi 200 universities reached 95.1 percent in September, below last year’s figure, but above September 2021 levels. Rent growth averaged at 6.3 percent throughout the most recent leasing season, with several records reached.
Here are the top 5 universities with most beds underway as of September, based on Yardi Matrix data.
5. University of Central Florida
With 68,442 students enrolled as of the fall 2022 semester, University of Central Florida has the second-largest on-campus student body of any public university in the country.
As of September, University of Central Florida had 3,433 beds underway, representing 4.9 percent of enrollment. With a capture opportunity of 63.9 percent, the R1 school had a 99.8 percent preleasing rate at the end of the fall 2023 leasing season.
Roughly a year ago, a joint venture between Harrison Street and Trinitas Ventures unveiled plans for the development of four new student housing properties, including Current Orlando, a 746-bed community to serve students at University of Central Florida. Currently under construction, the project includes a swimming pool and 690 parking spaces and is slated for completion in fall 2025.
4. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota has the ninth-largest, single-campus enrollment of any university in the country, with an enrollment of nearly 55,000 students in 2022. Yardi Matrix shows that the institution had the fourth largest change in total enrollment year-over-year since 2021, with a 2,579-student increase.
As of September, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities had an under-construction pipeline of 3,458 bedrooms, amounting to 7.4 percent of enrollment. The Big Ten school closed the fall 2023 leasing season with an 84.9 percent preleasing rate, lower than the Yardi 200 average of 95.1 percent.
In February, Landmark Properties announced its debut in the Minnesota market, with the development of a 1,021-bed student housing community in a prime Minneapolis commercial district. Construction for The Standard at Dinkytown is planned to commence this year, with completion slated by the fall 2025.
3. Florida International University
In 2022, Florida International University had an enrollment of 55,687, making it the nation’s eighth-largest university by enrollment. Between 2021 and 2022, enrollment at the institution increased by 3.8 percent. At the end of the leasing year, the school registered a 97.8 percent preleasing rate.
As of September, Florida International University had 3,553 beds underway , representing 6.3 percent of enrollment. With a capture opportunity of 86.1 percent, the school had a 97.8 percent preleasing rate at the end of September.
In April, a partnership between AARE Sunbelt—an affiliate of Adam America Real Estate—and JW Capital Management topped out a 1,201-bed student housing tower in the vicinity of Florida International University. The 22-story building dubbed Terrazul received a $147 million construction loan from MSD Capital and is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2024.
2. Indiana University-Bloomington
Indiana University-Bloomington had a total enrollment of 46,809 in the fall 2022 academic year. The Big Ten school’s acceptance rate reached 83 percent in the past school year.
As of September, the university had an under-construction pipeline that comprised 4,953 beds across six properties—representing 10.9 percent of enrollment. With a capture opportunity of 54.4 percent at the end of the fall 2023 leasing period, the school had an 86.0 percent preleasing rate.
One of the largest properties underway this year near Indiana University-Bloomington was Landmark Properties’ The Standard at Bloomington, a 440-unit, 1,260-bed project. The student housing community broke ground in spring 2022 and was completed just in time to host students for the Fall 2023 school year.
Back in March, Aspen Heights Partners unveiled plans for its new 671-bed community in Bloomington. Since then, the four-building project has broken ground, with a completion date set for 2024.
1. The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin had a total of 52,384 enrolled students in 2022, marking a 0.8 percent increase year-over-year. With an acceptance rate of 31 percent, the Big 12 institution boasts a dormitory capacity of about 7,809 beds and 19,271 off-campus beds.
As of September, The University of Texas at Austin had 6,155 beds under underway across seven properties, representing 11.8 percent of enrollment. With the largest under-construction pipeline across Yardi 200, the school had a 97.2 percent preleasing rate at the end of the leasing season, above the national average of 95.0 percent across Yardi 200.
The largest project by number of bedrooms that is under construction in the area is The Union on 24th, with a total of 1,601 bedrooms underway. In 2021 owner Greystar Real Estate Partners received a $170.5 million construction loan from United Overseas Bank for the development.
In April, New York-based MDL Group commenced construction on Icon, a 555-bed student housing community near the University of Texas at Austin. To become one of the tallest buildings in the area, the 30-story tower will comprise 216 units across a mix of one- to five-bedroom floorplans, along with four levels of below-ground parking.