Forget “Animal House,” today’s student housing is all about luxury

Developers are pumping cash into privately owned student housing

TRD New York /
Sep.September 04, 2016 03:00 PM

A laundry list of luxury amenities isn’t just for Manhattan’s new construction towers. College students are also getting the hotel suite treatment.

Stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, en suite bathrooms and in-unit washer/dryers are fast becoming standard at large public universities across the country, according CNBC.

Developers are investing in privately owned student housing and upping the ante on amenities, resulting in approximately 47,700 new beds in the pipeling for this fall semester. Universities in the Southeast are the primary target, according to Axiometrics, an apartment research firm.

“Privately owned student housing is quickly becoming an integral sector in real estate, and performance metrics demonstrate its strength,” Jay Denton, senior vice president of analytics at the firm, told CNBC. “Axiometrics forecasts rent growth to remain strong over the next five years and occupancy to stay above 95 percent, as enrollment continues to rise nationwide.”

As enrollment strengthens at state universities, housing has become increasingly scarce.

“The interest really started two or three years ago. A lot of the capital — institutional investors — needed to be educated on the space itself and what it meant to be in student housing. We had to do a lot of convincing that it wasn’t all ‘Animal House’ structures, but actually really stable cash flow properties,” J.J. Smith, chief operating officer of CA Student Living, told CNBC. “Now that we have educated the institutional world, we’re seeing a lot of capital interested in these properties.” [CNBC]Christopher Cameron

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