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Exclusive Research: 7,000 Students Reveal Their Housing Wants and Needs
Joseph Batdorf, president and CEO, J Turner Research / MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE / August 5, 2013
When it comes to student housing in the United States, one thing is pretty much clear: the dorm days are over.
To satisfy both cost and quality-of-life concerns, most students have moved off campus into modernized student housing communities, and competition for their rent dollars hinges around several key factors: be close to school, build big apartments with lots of storage, and make sure residents have their own bathroom (even if they share a bedroom).
As revealed in “Gauging Student Living Preferences,” a survey of 7,095 graduate and undergraduate students prepared exclusively for Multifamily Executive by Houston-based J Turner Research, a full 80 percent of students are already living off campus, where the average monthly rent is $620.
While a significant portion (42 percent) of students pay rent in the $400 to $600 range, the next largest group (17 percent) fork over $1,000 a month or more, indicating there may be opportunities to develop product in rental ranges of $600 to $800 per month, particularly for graduate students, who pay the highest rents, at an average $700 per month.
But although cost has driven most students from dorms, survey respondents indicated their predilection for an off-campus living experience is nevertheless worth paying a modest premium to secure. Indeed, 69 percent of the survey participants say it’s more expensive to live on campus, and even if all other things were equal, students are willing to pay $215.77 more per month, on average, to live off campus anyway.