Major development underway in student housing sector

Student housing real estate investment trusts are focusing on the development of new units, keeping developers more active than those in any other part of the commercial property sector.

While apartment builders are still picking up speed, high demand continues to drive major development activity in student housing, National Real Estate Investor reports. A combination of limited budgets for higher education and other factors is forcing state-supported universities and colleges to form partnerships with third-party developers. Both on- and off-campus housing are being developed.

The largest student housing REIT currently holds $593.4 million in owned development projects. Another REIT revealed it has identified more than 200 markets and 80 specific potential development sites. In addition to living space, these buildings may include some retail and restaurant space.

A number of colleges and universities are planning major additions to and replacements of their housing accommodations for students, representing a major opportunity in the industry. There may also be room for some investors and property management companies to court these students as the housing offerings change.