Profitability looms in student housing

Modernized off-campus units sustain demand

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With many of the 75 million "Echo Boomers" born between 1976 and 1994 headed to college this decade, student housing is becoming one of the apartment industry's most important niche opportunities, according to a new research report by the National Multi Housing Council. Student Housing 101: Where are the Opportunities? provides a snapshot of the current market conditions for off-campus, privately owned student housing in 64 college towns across the country. "When you say student housing to many apartment firms, visions of the movie 'Animal House' quickly come to mind," explained Jim Arbury, NMHC senior vice president. "Our analysis of over 1,500 privately-owned properties shows that student housing is a potentially lucrative market niche that could help the industry counteract the effect of rising home-ownership rates and a still somewhat soft economy." "For instance, we found that at least 27 markets have experienced housing shortages within the past two years," noted NMHC Legisl...