After the uncertainty brought by the global pandemic for the last two years, the student housing industry can now be summed up in two words: impressive performance. Considerable demand has propelled pre-lease rates to record levels across the core 175 universities tracked by RealPage.
After the pandemic-stunted performance in Fall 2020, Fall 2021 picked up a considerable amount of late season pre-lease demand in June, July and August. That late season demand for Fall 2021 accounted for over a quarter (26.1%) of all pre-lease occupancy, registering a good 600 basis points (bps) above the long-term norm. While that may have been expected again in 2022, such strong pre-lease performance through May 2022 leaves little room for additional demand.
Through May 2022, pre-lease occupancy stood at 77.8%, marking the highest figure on record since 2014 and a huge rebound from the past two pandemic years. For the past several years, month-over-month pre-lease rates have grown by an average of 8.3% in the month of May. In 2020, the pandemic dampened those results to a lackluster 4.7%, only to rebound considerably in the next two years. Pre-lease rate grew 9.6% in May 2021 and 9.2% in May 2022.
There are simply not a quarter of beds left to be pre-leased this summer with these strong readings. Even if late season demand runs in-line with the long-term average of about 20%, Fall 2022’s final pre-lease rate will be nearly 100%.
To learn more about the data behind this article and what RealPage has to offer, visit https://www.realpage.com/.
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