Improved Rent Growth in College Station Still Below National Norm

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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%.