First Pre-Lease Readings of Fall 2024 Top Previous Highs

With just a few weeks’ worth of data in the Fall 2024 leasing season, strong demand has already shown up in early pre-lease readings.

As of October, 11.8% of beds at the core 175 universities tracked by RealPage have been claimed for the Fall 2024 academic year. That’s well above a typical October reading of closer to 5%. In October 2022 – which would go on to become one of the strongest months in the Fall 2023 pre-lease season – pre-leasing registered at 10.5%.

In Fall 2023, the first three readings of the pre-lease season – in October, November and December – registered well above the long-term norm for those months. But then momentum tapered somewhat, though still stood comparatively ahead, thanks in large part to those strong early months. While RealPage has forecasted a slightly softer occupancy performance in Fall 2024 compared to Fall 2023 and 2022, this early reading suggests the cadence of pre-leasing might look a lot like last year. That is: ultra-strong pre-leasing in the first couple months of the season that buoys more normal demand postings after the New Year.

In a continuation of a years-long pattern, pre-leasing in October 2023 was strongest in assets closest to campus. As of October, 12.7% of properties within a half mile of campus were pre-leased for the Fall 2024 academic year, compared to 9.9% of beds within a half mile to one mile of campus and 10.7% of beds more than one mile from campus. All three of those mark all-time highs for October postings in the RealPage dataset.