By Christopher Hosford

Student housing has come a long way from the bleak dorms of bygone days, or the meager off-campus options that were little better. Today, in many cases, student housing rivals market-rate spa communities in their array of amenities and cutting-edge style. Further, they enjoy generally strong overall occupancy and the prospect of growing rental rates, as college enrollment continues to increase.

But student housing does have a dark side…

[BLOGGER COMMENT: At the Apartment Finance Today conference that I attended a couple of weeks ago there was a lot of buzz about student housing. In 2009 we arranged a $15.325 million construction loan for a student housing property in Tampa.  The process of placing this loan taught me that this is an industry niche that is often misunderstood by investors and lenders. It is best to proceed with caution and work with best in breed developers and managers of purpose-built student housing that know the opportunities and pitfalls in this dynamic market.]

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