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Student housing is having a moment. A tight supply of student housing is putting upward pressure on rents—even more so than the tremendous rent growth in multifamily. But, the strong rent growth isn’t the only reason to buy student housing. The apartment niche is also more resilient in a downturn than multifamily, and as we get later in the cycle, downside protection is attractive to investors. Champion Real Estate Co. is actively investing in student housing assets near USC, and is very bullish on the sector.

“The student housing sector offers downside protection in a very tight multifamily market,” Garrett Champion, EVP with Champion Real Estate Co., tells GlobeSt.com. “Los Angeles in particular, provides a unique opportunity for investment in student housing because its shortage puts upward pressure on rents.  Students and their parents will also pay a premium to live within a half-mile of campus. The product type has proven to be more recession resilient compared to traditional multifamily as enrollment increases during economic downturns and predominantly wealthy parents provide the lease guarantees.”

Champion is focused on the Los Angeles and specifically USC markets. In fact, the firm recently purchased Victory on Ellendale, a 24-unit student housing property, for $12.45 million, and plans to invest another $2.2 million to upgrade the property. “The best opportunities are in core urban locations where there exists a combination of insufficient university provided beds and a market-rate housing crisis,” adds Champion. “Amidst a housing crisis, California has a lot of opportunities for student housing investment at both two-year and four-year schools.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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