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Off-Campus Student Housing: Where to Find the Best Rents and Investments

College

College students will be returning to their dorms in massive numbers nationwide this time of year. Near many universities located on the coasts, such as Stanford, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Georgetown University and many others, returning students will be paying over-market rates for their leases, which typically last between nine months and a year.

“Tuition for many colleges and universities is soaring, forcing students and their families to utilize single-family rentals (SFRs) and other living situations off-campus,” says Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion. “To minimize living expenses, students in high-rent areas like the Bay Area, Boston and Washington, D.C., can rent properties further than two miles from campus or choose to have roommates in a rental home. But if these options are still too expensive for them, and debt burden is a major concern, students can choose to attend universities in Sunbelt markets.”

To help these students make affordable rental living decisions, and to provide single-family rental (SFR) investors with insight into submarkets with solid rents and low entry prices, HomeUnion Research Services has compiled a list of the most inexpensive college towns for off-campus living.

“It’s not surprising that many of the institutions in our study are located in Sunbelt markets – Texas and Florida,” remarks Steve Hovland, director of research for HomeUnion. “Rents are still very reasonable near campuses that are highly sought-after among SFR investors, such as Austin, Orlando and Dallas.” “Real estate investors are bullish on these investment markets due to attractive entry prices and yields. They all have solid cap rates above 4 and 5 percent, and entry prices below $300,000.”

Here’s a list of seven college towns with the most affordable off-campus rents based on the discount between near-campus rents and market rents:

University

Submarket/Metro Median Rent <2 Miles Market Rent Market Difference Cap Rate

Metro Median Home Price

Texas State University at San Marcos San Marcos, Texas/Austin

$1,123

$1,670 -32.8% 4.0%

$274,400

Valencia College Orlando, Fla.

$1,225

$1,502 -18.4% 4.9%

$203,100

University of South Florida Tampa, Fla.

$1,166

$1,429 -18.4% 5.3%

$179,200

University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, Texas/Dallas

$1,372

$1,639 -16.3% 5.3%

$202,000

University of North Texas at Denton Denton, Texas/Dallas

$1,419

$1,639 -13.4% 5.3%

$202,000

Source: HomeUnion Research Services

HomeUnion also compiled a list of the off-campus student housing markets with the highest rent burdens:

University

Submarket/Metro Median Rent (<2 Miles)

% Above Market

University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles/Westwood

$5,158

85.2%

Stanford University San Jose/Stanford, Calif.

$6,066

68.3%

Georgetown University Georgetown/Washington, D.C.

$3,433

60.0%

George Washington University CBD/Washington, D.C.

$3,417

59.3%

Michigan State University East Lansing, Mich.

$1,715

58.6%

University of Miami Miami/Coral Gables, Fla.

$3,097

47.0%

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia/West Chester, Pa.

$2,292

46.8%

University of California, Irvine Orange County/Irvine, Calif.

$4,372

43.4%

University of California, Berkeley Oakland/Berkeley, Calif.

$4,134

34.2%

Florida Atlantic University West Palm Beach/
Boca Raton, Fla.

$2,786

34.1%

Source: HomeUnion Research Services

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Brocker.Org: 20 college towns where landlords make the most money from students who live off campus - Forex News and Analysis Aug 26 2017 - 9:41 AM
[…] a real-estate investment management firm, recently released a list of the college towns with the highest off-campus rents. Looking at US colleges with enrollment above 15,000, they analyzed the median rent within a […]
How much it costs to live off campus in expensive college towns - Demo Aug 26 2017 - 10:06 AM
[…] a real-estate investment management firm, recently released a list of the college towns with the highest off-campus rents. Looking at US colleges with enrollment above 15,000, they analyzed the median rent within a […]
Nancy Maje Gillis Aug 26 2017 - 3:50 PM
Did I miss where it says how many bedrooms these rents are for? When they mention these rents, are they talking per bedroom, or are these rents for a 3-bedroom house, or a 4-bedroom house? Or a 2 bedroom condo? That piece of information is crucial. Without it, the article is kind of meaningless.
    Stacey Corso Aug 27 2017 - 6:21 PM
    These are average rents for all single-family properties within the analyzed area. On average, they’re 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes.
How much it costs to live off campus in expensive college towns – NewsbeatFX Aug 27 2017 - 12:44 AM
[…] a real-estate investment management firm, recently released a list of the college towns with the highest off-campus rents. Looking at US colleges with enrollment above 15,000, they analyzed the median rent within a […]
HomeUnion Identifies the 20 Most Expensive College Towns for Off-Campus Renters – PressReleases.blog Aug 29 2017 - 7:52 AM
[…] IRVINE, Calif., Aug 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — HomeUnion, an online residential real estate investment management firm, has released a list of the college towns with the most expensive off-campus rents. To create the list, HomeUnion analyzed the median rent within a two-mile radius of university’s campus and compared it to the metro area’s market-rate rent. Colleges with enrollment of 15,000 students or higher were included in the study, which also examines some of the least-expensive towns for off-campus student housing. […]
HomeUnion Identifies the 20 Most Expensive College Towns for Off-Campus Renters – all-press-releases.xyz Aug 29 2017 - 7:55 AM
[…] IRVINE, Calif., Aug 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — HomeUnion, an online residential real estate investment management firm, has released a list of the college towns with the most expensive off-campus rents. To create the list, HomeUnion analyzed the median rent within a two-mile radius of university’s campus and compared it to the metro area’s market-rate rent. Colleges with enrollment of 15,000 students or higher were included in the study, which also examines some of the least-expensive towns for off-campus student housing. […]

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