Auburn University

Auburn,

Student Housing Market Study

In 2006 Auburn was in the planning stages of increasing the number of on-campus housing units and wanted to understand the costs and amenities of off-campus housing in order to effectively market its new units. We were brought in to develop an off-campus market analysis and a financial model—which included long-term operation expenses, staffing plans, and financial pro formas—so the university would be empowered to evaluate potential developers. Our analysis showed that nearly 100% of the university’s student housing was off-campus. As a result, we concluded Auburn could charge 10% to 20% more for the convenience and security of on-campus housing; its leases should be for one year, thus providing a more stable revenue stream; and its housing options should be expanded to include a mix of two- and four-bedroom units, thereby making the university competitive with the off-campus market. As a result, the $99 million, 750,000SF, 1,680-bed Village opened in the fall of 2009 and was named Best Higher Education Project by South Central Construction.