Is student housing really the best option from an investment point of view?

| 11/04/2017 | 13 Comments

Whenever we think of student housing, images of cluttered frat houses, empty pizza boxes and empty beer cans pop into our heads. But things have changed quite a lot in the past 10 years. Increasingly more investors have showed an interest to invest in property, and rent it out to students. High-end student accommodation has proven to be a good form of investment. Most teens choose to leave their homes to get an education; but since they can’t afford to pay rent, they have a single option: to get a job as well. This way, 3-4 colleagues can easily rent out a flat, live comfortably, and focus on their studies without spending a fortune.

College and university enrollment is booming all across the US, with areas like San Francisco seeking to expand and diversify the property industry. Thanks to technology, Silicon Valley and numerous other tech campuses, are looking for a way to keep students around. The most reasonable solution is to build more units for postgrads and undergrads; help them move in and live comfortably near the places they work and study, but without forcing them to spend a lot of money on accommodation.student housing

Investing in property to rent to students – is it profitable?

Even though tuition fees have increased considerably in the past few years, increasingly more students choose to go to school, rather than drop out and get a job. The most ambitious can do both. In 2015, almost 600,000 teens applied for university. For an investor looking to make an investment in student property, this is great news. The success of the business is directly linked to demand. Why should you invest?

To begin with, it’s worth mentioning that the number of students eager to study has increased a lot; and we have to mention non-US students who are enthusiastic about studying abroad. Since most universities don’t have the resources to build units that fast and cope with the demand, a brand new property branch has opened up to real estate investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

Most students decide to move out of a dorm in the second year of study. They need time to accommodate themselves with the new system, make friends, and get to know the city before moving out. But as soon as they do so, they become more attached to the idea of living with friends, than living in a dorm with people they don’t get along with.

Student accommodation – a property asset worth considering

Many asset classes failed to perform during the recession. But somehow, student accommodation has managed to hold strong. That’s because no matter what happened in the past, people are still choosing to get an education. In fact, increasingly more have realized that the only way to land a good job is if they return to school.

As a consequence, the sector survived. The constant demand for accommodation has allowed investors to make a good profit, and keep building units. Unlike conventional buy-to-let properties, it looks like student housing is a lot more profitable. The return on investment usually depends on the location. A minimum yield of 8% per year is anticipated, whereas buy-to-let properties only get to 5%.

student housing

A profitable form of investment provided tenants are looked after

Generally speaking, students need about 4 to 6 years to complete their studies. It usually depends on what they want to study, at what university, and whether or not they would continue to live and work in the area following college. However, to rent your properties in the long-term students want to be well-taken care of. They don’t want to deal with irrational landlords.

That being said, it is important that you perform regular maintenance checks. Just think about it – if they move out in the middle of the semester, it will be difficult for you to find new tenants as most of them already have a place to live.

Before rushing to invest, you might want to test the waters first. Make a plan and keep in mind that student homes for rent are a form of investment. Check more than one area before buying, and assess to see how many universities and colleges are in the area. Have a financial budget in place, and consult with a professional realtor for extra guidance.

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Category: study abroad

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