Thursday, August 29, 2013

Student Housing Oversupply

Oversupply of student housing is a problem not just in Carbondale but builders of student housing nationwide have significantly overbuilt, leaving about 51,000 rooms empty nationwide, vacancy rate of about 6.7%.  In addition, student landlords have cut rents about 5% over the past year to fill empty rooms.

Makes me glad the council decided not to issue the special use permit to allow ground floor apartments in the downtown area. By all means let them build if they want but given the over-optimist view of the student housing market most developers have, it seems short sighted to elimiate sales tax generating retail space in favor of non-tax generating residential space, especially when there is no overwhelming need for more student housing. 

Granted, analysts believe the student market will grow to absorb the oversupply of student housing over time and much of the new housing is the "modernization of product that was neglected for decades", but Carbondale has seen a lot of new units added on in the past few years and we still haven't seen enough growth in the student market to absorb them yet.

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