Top 5 Universities for Student Housing Construction

Find out which schools lead the nation, according to Yardi Matrix’s latest research.

The student housing market continues its record-breaking performance, with new all-time highs recorded in anticipation of the 2024-2025 school year, according to Yardi Matrix. As of March 2024, preleasing at Yardi 200 universities hit 67.7 percent, 240 basis points higher than at the same point last year. The average rent per bed grew by 6 percent on a year-over-year basis, reaching $895.

In the third month of 2024, a total of 62,710 bedrooms were under construction across Yardi 200 universities. The same source reveals that 46,285 new beds are expected for delivery in 2024, marking a significant increase from the 37,576 bedrooms delivered in 2023.

Based on enrollment data gathered by Yardi Matrix from 183 universities, total enrollment for the fall 2023 school year was up 0.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. By comparison, in fall 2022, annual enrollment growth was negative, at -0.5 percent. As enrollment is experiencing a rebound and the number of students is on the rise, here are the top performing universities in terms of student housing construction, based on Yardi Matrix data.

5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Standard at Dinkytown
Standard at Dinkytown will be in the heart of the university’s Greek Row. Image courtesy of Landmark Properties

Boasting the ninth-largest single-campus enrollment of any university in the U.S., The University of Minnesota is one of only five universities in the U.S. with an engineering school, medical school, law school, veterinary medicine school and agricultural school all on one campus. Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year at the R1 institution totaled 41,702, marking a 1.1 percent fall compared to the previous academic year.

As of March, University of Minnesota had 2,709 beds under construction, representing 6.5 percent of enrollment. That same month, preleasing at the school reached 60.2 percent—the smallest rate across universities on this list.

In 2023, Landmark Properties announced that it will enter the Minnesota market with The Standard at Dinkytown, a 1,021-bed student housing community near the University of Minnesota. The community will offer several floor plans, ranging from studio to five-bedroom apartments, also incorporating 30 affordable housing units.

4. Florida State University

As of March, Florida State University had 3,167 beds under construction, representing 7.7 percent of enrollment. The R1 school's enrollment for the fall 2023 school year reached 41,243, marking a 2.8 percent decrease compared to the previous year, as well as the lowest capture opportunity among the school listed here, at 20.5 percent. Preleasing for the 2024-2025 school year at Florida State hit 74.8 percent in March 2024.

Last September, Landmark Properties and Manulife Investment Management commenced construction on a 859-bed luxury student community in Tallahassee, Fla. Dubbed The Mark at Tallahassee, the property will comprise three buildings and offer 30,000 square feet of amenity space. The project is set to come online in August of 2025.

3. The University of Texas at Austin

Villas Student Housing's newest community will be located near the University of Texas at Austin campus. Image courtesy of Rhode Partners
Villas Student Housing's newest community will be located near the University of Texas at Austin campus. Image courtesy of Rhode Partners

Considered a Public Ivy, The University of Texas at Austin topped our previous list back in November for universities with largest under-construction pipeline. With research expenditures totaling $1.06 billion for fiscal year 2023, the institution had the largest enrollment of 53,082 students for the 2023-2024 school year across universities on our current list. Boasting a year-over-year enrollment growth of 1.3 percent, the schools outpaced the average of 0.7 percent registered across Yardi 200 universities.

Last September, Villas Student Housing broke ground on another student housing project in Austin’s West Campus neighborhood. The 670-bed , 30-story tower will mark the developer’s eights student community in West Campus. According to public records, the project’s estimated construction cost reaches $85 million.

2. University of Wisconsin-Madison

The first public university established in the state, University of Wisconsin is the largest and oldest higher-education institution in Wisconsin. Also considered a Public Ivy, the R1 school recorded an enrollment of 48,480 student for the 2023-2024 school year—up 1.3 percent compared to the previous year.

As of March 2024, University of Wisconsin-Madison’s under-construction pipeline comprised 3,472 bedrooms, representing 7.2 percent of enrollment. With a capture opportunity of 66.0 percent, the university’s preleasing rate hit 79.9 percent at the end of March.

CRG is currently constructing Chapter at Madison, a 479-bedroom community in the vicinity of University of Wisconsin-Madison. The developer acquired the 0.8-acre site in November 2022 and razed five existing buildings to make way for the 10-story structure. Completion is expected this year.

1. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Residence Halls at University of Tennessee-Knoxville. RISE broke ground on the project.
Residence Halls will provide residents access to nearby dining facilities, such as Subway and Rocky Top. Image courtesy of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Topping our list, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville had a total of 3,961 of bedrooms underway as of March, making up for a whopping 11.0 percent of enrollment. Additionally, the R1 institution recorded an impressive, 7.5 percent jump in enrollment between the fall 2022 and fall 2023 school years. With a capture opportunity of 50.0 percent, the institution had the biggest preleasing rate as of March among the five schools listed here, reaching 89.0 percent.

In March, RISE Development broke ground on Residence Halls, a nearly 3,000-bed student housing development for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn. The first phase, planned for completion in August 2025, will bring 1,954 new beds across two communities to the university’s student housing inventory, which, at the time of the groundbreaking, amounted to 8,500 beds.

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