Student housing and multifamily are both considered recession-resistant asset classes. The reasoning is simple: even in a down market, people still need a place to live and students still go to college. While multifamily has been favored, student housing may actually perform better in a down cycle, according to Frederick W. Pierce, IV, of Pierce Education Properties.

“While more students pursue an education during a down cycle and demand for student housing expands accordingly, multifamily occupancies and rents are highly correlated to the economy,” Pierce, president and CEO of Pierce Education Properties, tells “When unemployment increases, renters become more price sensitive.  Those who are laid off often double up in housing with friends and family. Generally, none of those factors impact students and their demand for housing.”

While multifamily is resistant to a downturn, it is certainly still affected by economic changes. Even in the mildest downturn, rents are stalled of fall. “Those who retain jobs, but do not get pay raises or even get salary cuts, have to tighten their belts and can’t pay higher rents,” says Pierce.

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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 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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