Remote Learning Sends Rent Prices Down in College Towns

Rent prices in college towns have fallen this summer as colleges and universities across the country have opted for remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Zillow analysis.

“The drop throughout college areas stands out even in a rental market that has softened across the board since February with rent-price growth slowing and landlords offering more concessions,” Zillow says in a release.

Data from The Chronicle of Higher Education and Davidson College show 44 percent of U.S. colleges and universities are operating fully or primarily online for the fall semester, while only 27 percent are offering classes fully or primarily in person.

A new Zillow analysis shows that reduced demand in this largely remote environment is having a noticeable impact on rents in ZIP codes in which at least 20 percent of the population is college students, who make up about eight percent of the U.S. rental market in a typical year.

Softening college towns rental market

“The softening rental market across the country is starker in college neighborhoods as pandemic-mandated campus closures and opportunities to complete courses online have provided motivation for young people to move back home,” said Zillow senior economist Cheryl Young in the release.

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