Lazy rivers, tanning beds, rock-climbing walls—resort-style amenities in student housing may be falling out of fashion as the sector faces demographic changes and lingering supply-demand imbalances.
Some companies that provide student housing say they have seen a shift away from over-the-top amenities that were popular with off-campus renters a few years back. Instead, there has been an increasing shift toward amenities that reflect a focus on studying, health and fitness and the ride-sharing economy.
“We are seeing a push towards more useful amenities,” says Adam Byrley, COO of The Preiss Company, an off-campus student housing provider headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.
Several years ago, when student-housing construction was at its peak, there was a push among developers to outcompete each other and provide the most creative and over-the-top amenities, says Taylor Gunn, student housing director at Axiometrics, a RealPage company.
Today, construction in the sector is slowing–in 2013 and 2014, there were roughly 62,500 student housing beds delivered to the market, compared to 46,500 beds planned for this year—and there is a demographic shift in what students want as well, Gunn says. “Over the last year, [there was] maybe a little bit more people just trying to understand more of what people are actually using,” she says.