As the new school year approaches, the student housing sector continues to see strong fundamentals, according to industry analysts.
Berkadia, RealPage, and Yardi Matrix all recently released reports showing positive rent growth and preleasing rates.
According to Berkadia, as of June, preleasing rates for fall were at 86.3%, 6.5 percentage points ahead of the 2019-2020 school year, and rental rates had risen an average of 5.7%.
RealPage and Yardi Matrix both are seeing records set for prelease occupancy and rent growth at the universities they track.
At the core 175 universities tracked by RealPage, 86.2% of beds were preleased for the fall 2022 academic year as of June, marking the highest-ever reading for that month as well as higher than several recent July readings. The year-over-year asking rent was at 5.8% in June, matching May’s reading.
“With a couple months remaining until fall 2022 starts, record annual rent change is all but certain,” stated RealPage.
The RealPage 175 also didn’t have any preleasing laggards as of June. Schools that had readings below 75% were primarily high-supply schools and commuter colleges. In addition, only a handful reported rent cuts in June, and most of those were facing headwinds, such as enrollment challenges.
The Yardi 200 universities had an 87.2% preleasing rate and 5% rent growth as of June, the highest Yardi Matrix researchers have seen thus far. The preleasing rate is 10.1% higher than in 2021 and 7.7% higher than in 2019 pre-pandemic.
“With a few months to go in the leasing season, we expect Yardi 200 universities to start the fall term with record-breaking occupancy,” said Yardi Matrix analysts. “Confidence in the sector abound as the fall semester approaches, and previous concerns of headwinds have largely been put to rest.”
According to Yardi Matrix, while some institutions are experiencing enrolment declines, those losses have primarily been seen at community colleges and smaller schools rather than the public flagship and competitive private universities.