Students today have many different housing options, both on campus and off. Purpose-built student housing, which is designed specifically to meet the unique needs of college students, has emerged as a great housing option for students and their parents, offering features such as leases tied to the academic calendar, and furnished units that reduce the hassle associated with moving. In this article we’ll explore some of the key characteristics of purpose-built student housing, as well as the market outlook for student housing.
WHAT IS PURPOSE-BUILT STUDENT HOUSING?
Purpose-built student housing is an apartment community designed for residents in higher education. These communities offer amenities tailored to college students, such as individual leases, study areas, fully furnished units, and roommate matching. They’re typically located near a college campus and may offer unique residence life programs, such as Student Housing, and employ students to act as community assistants, providing support to their fellow student residents.
College campuses are like small cities in themselves, where students live, study, and work all in the same area. This campus-centric lifestyle drives a need for a different kind of housing – one that is not typically fulfilled by conventional housing options. It also offers developers an opportunity to tailor new living experiences to better serve college students’ unique needs. Some differentiators of purpose-built student housing include:
- Individual leases
- Roommate matching
- Units and amenities designed for students
- Furnished apartments
- Study areas
- Proximity to campus
- Residence life programs
A key differentiation of student housing is in the leasing model. Instead of leasing by the unit for 12-month contracts, purpose-built housing allows students to lease by the bed with options to lease for the months they are attending school. Additionally, roommate-matching programs are common to help residents find other student(s) who will be a great fit.
In purpose-built student housing, units and amenities are designed specifically with students in mind. Students commonly “travel light,” leaving many belongings back at home with their parents. While at college, their focus is on studying, as well as connecting with friends during their leisure times. Therefore, in general, student residents don’t require large storage space. Instead, they get more value out of community amenities, such as a pool, a gym, and group study areas.