Student Housing Pre-Lease Rate Reaches All-Time High in January

Just under half of all student housing beds were pre-leased for the Fall 2024 academic year as of January 2024.

As of January, 49% of beds at the core 175 universities tracked by 51视频 have been claimed for Fall 2024, marking the highest pre-lease reading ever recorded in January, according to data from 51视频 Market Analytics. January 2023’s pre-lease reading of 48.2% marked an all-time high by a wide margin, and 2024’s rate surpassed that by about 80 basis points (bps).

Across product distances, beds closest to campus reached the highest pre-lease occupancy. As of January, 49.5% of beds within a half mile of campus were pre-leased, compared to still-strong readings of 48.7% of beds pre-leased within a half mile to one mile of campus and 47.4% of beds pre-leased more than a mile from campus.

Meanwhile, students who leased a bed for the Fall 2024 academic year paid, on average, 6.7% more than students leasing the same bed a year earlier. That rent change varied across product distances, with the highest price hikes recorded in properties more than one mile from campus (8.7%) and the lowest price hikes recorded in properties within a half mile of campus (6.1%). Properties within a half mile to one mile of campus grew same-store effective asking rents 7.4% on average in the year-ending January 2024.

While those price hikes still registered well above pre-COVID norms of more like 2% annual effective rent growth, rent gains have come down from the 9%+ gains recorded at some points in the Fall 2023 pre-lease season.

A couple of campuses reported ultra-strong pre-lease occupancy as of January. University of Tennessee, Purdue University, University of Arkansas and Virginia Tech all boasted pre-lease rates of 80% or higher as of January. Unsurprisingly, several of those schools also recorded very strong final occupancy rates for the Fall 2023 academic year.