Research Outline

Student Housing Market Research


To have some data points on the off-campus student housing market in order to provide proof to investors that the student housing market, focused on international students, has room for innovation. An ideal response would include:
  • The number of existing available rooms on campus.
  • The number of available rooms off-campus [in purpose build student houses].
  • The number of full-time undergraduate students in the United States.
  • The number of students who need housing in the United States.
  • Market size of off-campus housing, expressed as the number of students who don't have beds, as well as a dollar amount.
  • Data points on what international student's preferred housing is.
  • Ideally data would be as recent as possible, but because of the pandemic, 2019 data is acceptable.

Early Findings

Data Availability

  • The initial round of research indicates that information surrounding the off-campus student housing market in the United States is mixed, based on the research questions asked. We provided what we could on as many subjects within the time constraints of the first hour. Information specific to what international student's preferred housing if they are coming to the United States specifically is not publicly available, but data points surrounding what their overall preferences are [not based on what country they are going to study in] is available. All scoping suggested are based o the fact that public data is available. If we have not scoped for something, it is because there appears not to be any public data surrounding it.

Student Bed Data: United States

Investment Volumes

Student Housing Market Size: United States

COVID Related Data

General Data Points

  • Sixty-two percent of students live off campus, but not with their parents. On the other hand 22% of US students live in older on-campus dormitories.
  • Sixty-three percent of student housing in the United States consists of private rooms rather than shared rooms or apartments.

Preferred Housing Trends

  • According to National Postsecondary Student Aid Study data analyzed by Seton Hall University professor Robert Kelchen in 2018, more students live off campus than in university housing, a trend that has remained stable since 2000.
  • "Thirty-eight percent of US students in 2012 said they would most likely live in mid-rise apartments, community cottage (33%), single-family house (13%), and high-rise apartment tower (9%). In addition, in 2012, 37% of US students more often selected units with two bedrooms. On the other hand, 27% selected three bedrooms, 24% 4 or more bedrooms, whereas only 11% selected units with one bedroom."


  • Our initial hour of research focused on ensuring that the research questions could be answered using publicly available sources and then providing salient and relevant data surrounding student bed data, investment volumes, market size, some COVID related data, some general data points, and some preferred housing trends, with one statistic coming from a 2012 source, but we included it, as this was the most recent one we found in the initial hour. There may be a more recent one, we just did not have enough time to locate any.
  • As a reminder, Wonder only uses publicly available sources to answer all research questions. We do not do primary research, and we do not have access to paid databases or paywalled reports, but we can cite them in research for reference only [in case purchase is desired]. If that is of interest, that would clearly have to be communicated to us in any reply.
  • It is of note that while the initial hour of research does not allow us to embed graphics and other visuals, we can certainly do that for any subsequent research projects that are selected. This will enable us to provide visual examples/graphs/charts to add color and depth to the research.
  • Based on some comments in the chat transcript, we assumed a narrow approach and looked specifically at the United States. If a more broad approach is desired, for example, a global view, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply within each appropriate scoping box.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.