The college experience is alive and well at American colleges and universities. Total undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase by 8 percent — from 15.9 million to 17.1 million students — between 2020 and 2030, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

If we can glean anything from the current levels of demand, it’s that many students will seek out housing. Pre-leasing rates hit an all-time high for the second year in a row when nearly 70 percent of beds had already been absorbed by March for fall 2023, notes Yardi Matrix’s Student Housing National Report for the second quarter of 2023. This represented a 7.8 percentage point increase compared to a year earlier. The study notes rents have also been exceptionally strong, increasing 7 percent year over year in March to an average of $829 per bedroom, per month. This is the highest average rent the student housing industry has ever achieved, Yardi states.

“Demand is most robust in the larger, more competitive universities where enrollment is increasingly concentrated, producing demand for housing both on and off campus,” the report continues. “The housing need is particularly acute in university markets that are in downtowns with prevalent conventional multifamily markets.”

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