There is a sector of real estate that has quietly been heating up and investors want in; it’s student housing. Forget the image you have in your head of the dorms you lived in while attending college years ago. This isn’t your stereotypical student housing of nondescript rooms with dirty carpet, linoleum floors, and equipped with only the bare necessities. Today’s student housing is all about the comforts of home.
A large group of today’s college students have grown up living with luxury amenities at home and want the same comforts while attending school. Some private investors and REITs (real estate investment trust) have identified this opportunity to build new housing both on and off campus. Universities are welcoming the on campus private investment since budgets have been tightening.
These new student housing buildings could easily be mistaken for a luxury hotel or apartment building and feature flat screen TVs, state of the art fitness centers, and full kitchens and baths. Bill Bayless, CEO of American Campus Communities, the largest student housing REIT in the U.S. commented, “Student housing isn’t just real estate. It’s really creating physical assets that are conducive to academic achievement.” It is estimated that the student housing sector is a $4-5 billion business and still growing.
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