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Student housing construction dips in the first quarter of 2024

Student Housing

Student housing construction dips in the first quarter of 2024

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported a 0.1% decrease to a $4 billion annual rate in student housing construction.


By Quinn Purcell, Managing Editor | May 3, 2024
Excavator digging a trench and loading on the dump truck in Middlesex Community College in town of Bedford, Massachusetts MA, USA
Photo courtesy Adobe Stock

Investment in college dorms dipped slightly in the first quarter of 2024, but remains higher than a year ago. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports a 0.1% decrease to a $4 billion annual rate, following a previous quarter's increase. While still below pre-pandemic levels, this investment is 10.4% higher compared to the first quarter of 2023.

College enrollment growth after the Great Recession fueled a surge in dorm investment. This trend reversed during the Coronavirus pandemic, with restrictions on in-person learning causing a significant drop. Investment fell from $4.47 billion in late 2019 to $3.01 billion in mid-2021, mirroring a decline in college enrollment.

With the pandemic receding and a return to in-person learning, student housing investment is on the rise. This bodes well for the future of the college dorm sector.

While construction may have dipped in 2024, preleasing for student housing continues to grow at record pace. While rent growth has remained at a solid four percent, preleasing reached 54.5% in January and surpassed 61% in February. This is more than 15% above the five-year average.


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