Student Housing Investment Recovering from the Pandemic

Private fixed investment in dormitories stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of $3.08 billion in the last quarter of 2021, according to the data released by Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Student housing investment was 2.9% higher over the third quarter of 2021. However, private fixed investment in dorms was 20% below the last quarter of 2020 and 32% below the pre-pandemic level.

Private fixed investment in student housing experienced a surge after the Great Recession, as college enrollment increased from 17.2 million in 2006 to reach 20.4 million in 2011. However, during the Pandemic, private fixed investment in student housing declined drastically from $4.51 billion (SAAR) in the last quarter of 2019 to a lower annual pace of $2.86 billion in the second quarter of 2021, asCOVID-19 interrupted the normal in-person on campus learning mode. College enrollment fell by 3.6% in the fall of 2020 and by 3.1% in the fall of 2021, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Student housing private investment is on the road to recovery, as the economy reopens and the number of vaccinated people rises. Pent-up demand for in-person learning has encouraged students to return to campuses, boosting the student housing sector. However, the strength of this recovery remains uncertain.

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