Unlike other parts of the business, student housing construction sometimes actually benefits from national economic slowdowns and recessions.
That’s because enrollment at both two and four-year schools tends to increase during such times when people out of work return to school.
During the depths of the Great Recession in 2010, college enrollment was up by 25 percent over what it was 5 years earlier.
More students meant a renewed demand for more student housing, with nearly $4 billion in such projects undertaken in just 2012 alone.
Now, according to student housing experts speaking at a seminar sponsored by the publication Bisnow, while there are indications that the economy could be nearing a slowdown, the need for more student housing remains steady.
Conference speakers noted that demand appears to be strong nationally, with new multi-story student housing complexes and projects going up in all regions of the country.
The Bisnow conference follows on the heels of a report published by the National Apartment Association noting that students are increasingly calling for more single bedroom units, communal space, and cafes in new complexes.
That report also noted, based on the findings of a survey the NAA conducted, that freshmen and sophomores were more likely than juniors, seniors, and graduate students, to enjoy shared housing with other students.
Meanwhile, according to the Richardson, Texas-based property management company Real Page, new student bed construction has ranged in the last few years between 44,000 and 48,000, with last fall seeing 46,200 new beds.
Experts say the only sources of concern in today’s student housing construction industry is increased competition and whether or not the international student population will remain static in the coming years or continue to grow.
By Garry Boulard
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