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How One School is Weathering Increased Supply

Student Housing Supply

While some schools have struggled to find housing for an influx of new students, one university has the beds to meet demand.

Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., is expects 2,200 new beds to come online across 11 properties this Fall.

Yet the school seems to be absorbing this new inventory quite well. Through June, off-campus beds were 80.5-percent pre-leased, according to RealPage’s Julia Bunch. That number was consistent with the national norm of 81 percent and just below Purdue’s year-ago pre-lease rate of 85.9 percent.

Strong enrollment growth, which came in above 2.5 percent in 2016 and 2017 and 4.4 percent in 2018, is the reason that occupancy has held up at the school. “After welcoming its largest ever freshman class last fall, Purdue scrambled to hire additional faculty and staff to keep up,” Bunch wrote. “The school attributed the increase in enrollment to more students accepting admittance to the school, and an increase in out-of-state students.”

With rent growth above 5.5 percent through June, Purdue is well above the national average of 1.7 percent.

“As of June, Purdue took the #11 spot for rent growth nationally,” Bunch wrote. “The 5.5-percent increase would also a school best for the cycle, assuming the pace is maintained through the end of the leasing season in August.”

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