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Last year, distance learning stunted student housing activity—but the economic recession is restoring confidence in the asset class. Recessions historically drive student housing demand as more young people elect to continue with school rather than entering the workforce. As schools reopen, student housing demand is returning and restoring confidence in the asset class.

Pierce Education Properties is one investor that is bullish on the asset class. The company never lost confidence in student housing, despite the market disruption. Last year, the firm acquired $100 million in student housing assets, and it plans to remain a net buyer again in 2021. “The pandemic has reinforced the recession-resistant nature of the asset class and has also demonstrated that student housing can succeed even when feeder universities are imperiled,” Frederick W. Pierce, president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com. “While overall university enrollments were down 2.5% in academic year 2020-21 according to National Student Clearinghouse, enrollments at four-year public universities were level.”

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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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