SANTA CLARA, Calif.,
July 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/
-- Thirty-five percent of college students headed to school
this fall say they cannot afford to rent an apartment in their
college town and 19% say their parents are helping them pay rent
this year when they didn't need help last year, according to a new
Realtor.com® survey released today. When asked what's
impacting their struggles, 44% blame the overall real estate market
in their college town.
"The shortage of affordable housing inventory in the U.S. pushed
prices to record-highs and forced more prospective homebuyers into
the rental market in June, driving the U.S. median rent price to a
new high of $1,575, an 8.1% increase
year-over-year," said Realtor.com® Economist
George Ratiu. "In addition, many
university towns have become attractive destinations for retirees
and remote workers, further adding pressure on local real estate
markets. With the uncertainty brought about by COVID compounding
the rising prices and lower inventory, students are facing a more
challenging housing market in their college towns than ever
Danny (21), a college student in Illinois said, "The rent is incredibly high
from where we are and they know they'll get away with it because
they know we'll pay it… we're literally in a cornfield in the
middle of Illinois. There's no
reason that there needs to be rent this high."
While finances are playing a significant role in housing plans
for this year, so is timing. Thirty percent of students delayed
confirming fall 2021 housing due to a lack of certainty about their
school holding in-person classes. Those delays have had a ripple
effect with 34% of college students not having finalized their
housing for fall and 22% of those students saying they waited too
long to secure on-campus housing and now it's full, forcing them to
change their plan.
Despite the challenges, students are eager to get back to
school. Half of those who lived at home last year are planning to
move out for the fall, but they're really having to pound the
pavement to find the right fit. Nearly 40% of those planning to
live off-campus and away from home said they looked at 6 or more
listings in person while searching for a place to live and over 30%
said finding an apartment this year was much harder than last year.
Nearly a quarter said the places they looked at rented very fast
because there was so much competition.
"With speed a necessity for searchers in the fast-paced market,
tailoring your home or rental search to listings close to campus
will help keep you focused," said Realtor.com®
housing and lifestyle expert, Lexie
Holbert. "Our school search filter lets you search listings
around schools of all levels, including universities, to find
rentals and for-sale properties near campus. It also lets you save
the search and set an alert, so you'll know when something matching
your search criteria hits the market."
"There's multiple people going for the same house and it's super
competitive, almost to the point where people will gatekeep their
agents' information," said Kayla (19), a college student in Eugene,
"We've been looking since a little bit before Thanksgiving of
2020. We looked probably until mid April. We were waking up
literally every morning and searching... and then just go back in
later in the afternoon and check again," said Owen (19), a college
student in Bozeman, MT.
Financial challenges aren't just impacting students' ability to
find housing but how students will live this year too. Fifty-one
percent of students say they have adjusted their living situation
in order to save money with 21% moving home to save money, 13%
taking on more roommates and 10% choosing to live in lower quality
accommodations to save money.
Methodology: Realtor.com® commissioned JUV to conduct
a national survey of students planning to attend college in the
fall of 2021. This survey was conducted online within
the United States from
July 12 - July 17, 2021. The survey
was conducted among 501 young adults who are current college
students or recent graduates by JUV Consulting. The sampling margin
of error of this poll is 4%.
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