Student Housing: Mask On, Mask Off
American Campus Communities - along with the broader student housing sector - hope for a swift rebound in occupancy this academic year as students at flagship universities return to campus.
Two steps forward, one step back. The recent reacceleration in worldwide COVID cases - and resulting "public health" mandates - threaten to delay the complete return of in-person learning.
Tale of two Americas: ACC's focus on highly-selective flagship universities across Sunbelt markets - most of which offered in-person classes throughout the pandemic - has proven to be especially critical.
ACC reported encouraging Q2 results this week as pre-leasing accelerated significantly to 91.7% for the upcoming year while NOI growth surged 11.6% and its critical Disney development remains on track.
While apparent near-term and longer-term risks remain for the student housing asset class, valuations now appear fairly attractive given the robust strength across the broader multifamily housing sector.
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