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Student Housing Rents and Preleasing Set New Records, Yet Investment Sales Slow

Student housing rents and pre-leasing set new records in March, according to the latest National Student Housing Report from Yardi Matrix. Rents increased 7% year-over-year in March to an average of $829 per bedroom, a record high.

March preleasing rates also surpassed last year’s record, with 69.7% of beds at Yardi 200 universities preleased for the fall 2023 term. That represents a 7.8-percentage point increase Y-O-Y.

“A sector that often performs better during times of economic volatility, student housing continues to achieve record-breaking rent and preleasing levels,” Matrix analysts said.

Demand is strongest in the most competitive universities where enrollment is increasingly concentrated, producing demand for housing, according to the report. The need is exacerbated at schools located in downtowns with largely conventional multifamily markets.

However, Matrix noted that higher interest rates, reduced debt-market liquidity and weakening investor demand are slowing development and sales. Investors backed off of purchases dramatically in the first quarter of 2023 with just $148 million in sales completed, down substantially from the $1.5 billion recorded in Q1 2022.


Inside The Story

Yardi Matrix

About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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