College Property Markets That Rocked in 2014

RealtyTrac’s Q2, 2014 Residential Property Rental Report, had some interesting things to say about what markets rocked and what markets just sunk like rocks. A look at the report shows that the second quarter just wasn’t as great as the same time last year: the average annual return for 2014 was about 9.9% compared to the 10.60% of 2013.

While the report gives us a great look at all areas of rental property investments, from the boomers to the millennials, we’re going to go into one area in particular: college rental markets.

So, which college rental markets did the best in 2014? Glad you asked. Here are our top ten college markets of the year. I don’t know about anyone else, but I will always read these “top ten” lists (And any other top (Insert number) lists) in Casey Kasem’s voice. Now you will, too.


SpartanSportsLogo10. Tampa, Florida

University of Tampa, Hillsborough Community College, and The University of South Florida are all located within the city that boasted over $35 million in sales all in the student housing niche. There is a reason for this: Florida just rocked the investment world with their student housing market this past year.


university of dallas9. Dallas, Texas

Dallas has always had quite a reputation for interesting markets, but in 2014, the town that hosts Texas Women’s University, University of North Texas, The Southern Methodist University and The University of Dallas had $38 million in sales for student housing.



 8. Orlando, Florida

Yet another Florida market makes the list. Though better known for a vacation hotspot, Orlando also has quite a few fantastic schools. Valencia College, University of Central Florida, Seminole State College, Florida Institute of Technology, the Barry University School of Law, Adventist University of Health Sciences, and the University of Florida are all located here and their student population is why this market could lay claim to over $39 million in sales.



7. Sacramento, California

This city has quite a few schools including University of Southern California, University of San Francisco, Alliant International University, and Drexel. Located in a wonderful location to begin with, and dotted with campuses is why Sacramento had over $47 million in sales for the year 2014.


gainesville6. Gainesville, Florida

Oh, look, another Florida student housing market- this one boasting $49 million sales. The city is where Sante Fe College, City College, and the University of Florida- one of the nation’s biggest campuses are located.


penn5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Another one of the nation’s learning meccas, this city not only held 5th place with $59 million student rental housing sales but hosts more than a dozen colleges and universities. Drexel has another campus here, Temple, St. Joseph’s, University of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts are all campuses located here.


7034_georgia_tech_yellow_jackets-alternate-19914. Atlanta

There are very few people in real estate who are shocked to learn that the Atlanta metro area not only made the list, but is in the top 5. This is because the Peachtree City can boast well over 30 universities and colleges. So, how’d they do this year? Only about $61 million. Not too bad!


usc_trojans53. Central California

Now some may call this cheating, it’s not exactly a city, but it is a market. This area has actually experienced a tremendous amount of growth in the last decade and much of this was due to Cal State and the University of California, Merced hosting campuses here. This market boasts quite a few colleges, and as a result it also takes 3rd place with $66 million in sales.


large_texas-longhorns-4-logo2. Austin, Texas

Austin not only has a vast college population, but it’s also an artists’ mecca. With schools like University of Texas at Austin, The Art Institute of Austin, and Concordia, it’s very little wonder, but the city has many other campuses. It took number 2, with over $153 million in sales.

As a significant side note for potential investors in this market: that growth is just not slowing down, nor is the entire state of Texas college properties’ market. There are several student housing properties that have begun development with more to come. Five new ones began construction and 9 more are being planned.


FAMU-Logo-1011. Tallahassee, Florida

If it hasn’t already become obvious, the Florida market is booming on the whole. None more so than Tallahassee, which comes in at number one with just under $173 million in sales. Boasting many institutions of higher learning, Tallahassee is widely seen as THE college town. Florida State University and Florida A&M are the two biggest.
On the whole, the student rental housing market is still thriving. Have you been looking into investing in college property markets?

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Kurt Kroeck

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By Kurt Kroeck

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