July Pre-Lease Rate Tops 90%

We’ve been saying it for months: Fall 2022 pre-lease rates keep setting records. July was no different as 91.4% of beds at the core 175 universities tracked by RealPage were claimed for the Fall 2022 academic year. With only two months left in the pre-lease season, hitting an all-time high pre-lease rate is all but certain.

July’s pre-lease rate marks the highest July on record and stands in-line August readings, according to data from RealPage Market Analytics.

Pre-leasing looks strong across all distances, led (as usual) by the strongest rates in properties within a half mile of campus. As of July, 92.6% of beds within a half mile of campus were spoken for, compared to 90.2% in beds within a half mile to one mile of campus and 88.6% of beds over one mile from campus. All these rates mark multi-year highs for each respective product type.

Year-over-year effective rent growth also hit a never-before-seen rate in July of 6%, led by 6.2% increases in both properties within a half mile to one mile of campus and properties over one mile from campus. Properties within a half mile of campus saw annual rent growth of 6% in July.

Over 15% of the RealPage 175 universities reported 100% full pre-lease occupancy in July, and another 42% had pre-lease occupancy above 90%. All said, no true laggards existed within the RealPage 175 for pre-lease occupancy in July.

Many schools reported year-over-year effective rent growth above 10% in July. Some universities in Florida – where conventional apartment rent growth leads the nation – reported some of the highest student housing rent growth as well, including the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton and Florida International University. Less than a dozen schools reported rent cuts in July, and those that did tended to be high-supply Sun Belt schools, including a couple universities that have faced enrollment challenges of late.