THE ECONOMIC PROSPECTS FOR INVESTING IN STUDENT HOUSING

Open Access
Author:
Crell, Adam
Area of Honors:
Elective Area of Honors - Real Estate
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Austin Jay Jaffe, Thesis Supervisor
  • Brent William Ambrose, Faculty Reader
  • Austin Jay Jaffe, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • student accomodations
Abstract:
For the purposes of this thesis, we will be analyzing off-campus student housing – a type of housing which caters specifically to the needs of those full-time students, both undergraduate and graduate alike, who have decided to forgo the university-managed alternatives. Differences abound between off-campus housing and its university managed counterparts. First, with the absence of university housing behavioral covenants and Resident Advisors (RA’s) in place to better micromanage its residents, off-campus student housing is more management intensive than comparable investment alternatives. Second, university-managed student housing alternatives more often than not require subscription to a meal plan, much along the same lines of Penn State’s “Ala Board Meal Plan”. Third, although off-campus student housing is open to all majors, minors, and years of tenure, its largest demographic consists of upperclassmen looking for more freedom while the university alternative’s primary demographic consists of freshman who are required to live on campus. Lastly, leases are typically signed for the duration of the fiscal year for off-campus housing as opposed to paying for the academic year under university housing arrangements. We will be performing an industry-wide demographic and market analysis to provide a big picture of the overall student housing economic environment. We then intend to take a micro perspective and conduct a case study for Penn State in particular – studying the broader demographics for the state of Pennsylvania and drilling down to the prospects the micro market that Penn State holds for investing in student housing.