Arizona State University


Student Housing Market Analysis

In April 2016, when Arizona State University leadership sought to understand the overall housing needs on its growing downtown Phoenix campus, it turned to Brailsford & Dunlavey for a comprehensive student housing demand analysis. B&D’s analysis and strategic guidance formed the basis for understanding how healthy the University’s housing demand is and determined the level of support for a variety of potential housing developments for the next five to 10 years.

When B&D first discussed this effort with the University, it was considering the addition of beds for this campus through a new housing development, a master lease agreement, or the acquisition of an off-campus property, but wanted to ensure that any new housing would not negatively affect students’ interest in living in the existing campus housing. Further, B&D’s demand analysis was to address the housing needs of the upper division students, specifically the desired unit offerings and amenities not currently available.

To address these issues, B&D created a plan in partnership with University officials that addressed their challenges in a manner that met the institution’s mission and values. The comprehensive work plan consisted of:

• Student and stakeholder focus groups to qualitatively understand student preferences and perceptions of existing offerings
• An off-campus housing market analysis to assess the local housing market and rents paid by students
• A student survey to quantify preferences for housing amenities, unit types, and price sensitivities
• A demand analysis to quantify bed demand for new housing drawing on data collected from the survey

Based on knowledge of the off-campus market and the results of its proprietary Demand-Based Programming, B&D concluded there is sufficient demand for development of additional beds that would not adversely affect occupancy at its existing residence hall if it focused on the needs of upper division students. A further recommendation B&D brought forward was that the University consider providing additional food and retail components in any new housing project to address the stigma of the downtown campus being a “food desert,” as students in the focus groups expressed.