Resiliency. That’s the best way to describe the performance of the student housing sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its fourth quarter 2021 student housing report, research company Yardi Matrix reported that the performance of the student housing sector ended the year on a strong note, even as COVID’s Omicron variant caused many universities to return at least temporarily to remote learning.
According to the report, student housing at the Yardi 200, the top 200 investment-grade colleges in the country, ended the fall 2021 pre-leasing period with 94.3 percent of their units pre-leased. That’s up 5.2 percent from the fall of 2020 and, surprisingly, 0.4 percent from pre-leasing levels in the fall of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pre-leasing for the fall 2022 university term is already underway, and pre-leasing levels had hit 26.7 percent as of November of last year, according to Yardi Matrix. That is also an improvement, up from 15.4 percent during the same time in 2020.
In more good news, the average rent per bedroom for Yardi 200 universities stood at $791 as of December of last year, up 2.2 percent when compared to the same month in 2020.
In their report, Yardi Matrix researchers said that they had a positive outlook for the dedicated off-campus student housing industry leading into the fall 2022 term. As the company’s report says, rents and pre-leasing activity are off to a strong start early in the season, actually rising above pre-pandemic levels despite economic uncertainty and the lingering COVID-19 virus.