The apartment rental market is softening across market segments, from market-rate to affordable housing, and student housing is no exception. New research from Zillow shows that apartment rents in college submarkets are down .5% year-over-year as of August, the first time that college area rents have decreased since 2017, which was the first year that Zillow began collecting data. In addition, there is now a 3.4% gap between college area rents and non-college area rents, the steepest decline in compared to market-rate areas rents since 2017.

Online education has fueled the decline in apartment rents and apartment demand in college towns. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education and Davidson College, 44% of colleges and universities are operating fully online, and only 27% of schools are operating classes primarily in person. The Zillow report suggest that online education is hampering demand in areas where at least 20% of the rental population are students. By comparison, rents in areas with a lower portion of college students actually saw an increase of 2.6% in rental rates.

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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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