The U.S. privately-owned student housing rental market has matured from a niche sector to a significant institutional market with a 20-year investment history through both privately held and publicly traded companies. More than 22 million students are now enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions including both two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
The student housing market is now facing significant changes, both on the demand side in terms of student diversity and growth patterns and on the supply side in terms of evolving building formats and amenities as the market evolves. Some universities are already facing declining enrollment patterns due to aging population bases, while enrollment at others is increasing faster than new housing can be provided. The physical structures provided by both universities and private owners have changed significantly over time as the market has become more institutionalized. Yet significant opportunities remain as a large part of the market remains in the hands of non-institutional owners of small properties. Perhaps even more so than for other housing types, affordability remains a key issue going forward.
This report by NMHC’s Research Foundation examines the U.S. student housing market and explores key opportunities in the sector.