Improved Rent Growth in College Station Still Below National Norm
After cutting rents throughout much of the past four years, operators in College Station have once again turned to healthy rent growth. In the year-ending September 2021, rents grew 4.6%, which is one of the market’s best showings in five years. While solid, however, that growth pace is less than half the national norm of 12%. College station stock of about 26,000 apartments is largely made up of student competitive supply that serves Texas A&M University’s more than 65,000 students. Therefore, apartments compete significantly with student product here. In fact, while most of the nation was enjoying rent growth in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic, operators in College Station were cutting rents by an average of 1.4% in 2018 and 2019. Rent cuts remained the norm for much of 2020, and then both College Station and the nation hit a turning point for improved performance in March 2021. Occupancy in College Station has also strengthened in the last couple months to stand at 94.5% in September, well above this market’s long-term average but still far below the national norm of 97.3%.