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.