Student Housing Construction Dips in the First Quarter of 2024

According to the data released by Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), private fixed investment in student dormitories edged down 0.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $4 billion in the first quarter of 2024, after a 2.3% increase in the prior quarter. Private fixed investment in dorms was 10.4% higher than a year ago, but still slightly 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 20.4 million in 2011. However, during the pandemic, private fixed investment in student housing declined drastically from $4.47 billion (SAAR) in the last quarter of 2019 to a lower annual pace of $3.01 billion in the second quarter of 2021, as COVID-19 interrupted normal on-campus learning. 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 pandemic has ended. In-person learning requires college students to return to campuses, boosting the student housing sector.

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