Category: Student Housing

CRE Investors Are Showing a Growing Appetite for Higher-Yielding Alternative Assets

Sectors such as self-storage and student housing appear more attractive as yields for core real estate drop.

It wasn’t that long ago that alternative properties didn’t get much respect, but as yields compress in core property sectors, alternatives have caught the eye of investors, and 2019 should continue that trend.

“For many years, non-traditional real estate was not fully appreciated,” says Tyler Blue, vice president of the advisory and consulting arm of research firm Green Street Advisors. But alternative sectors have outperformed expectations in recent years, and investors have noticed.

“Once the broader real estate investment community caught on, more capital flowed in, particularly as the more traditional real estate sectors became fully valued. So, the more progressive investors benefited and the institutions have followed their lead,” Blue says.

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An Insider’s View of the Student Housing Business

Campus Advantage is one of the most active players in the student housing market. Over the last decade, the company has acquired more than $1.5 billion in student housing assets through its partnerships and invested about $525 million in equity through several joint ventures. In addition, Campus Advantage manages more than 60 communities across the country.

The firm’s Michael Orsak, senior vice president of investments, and Josh Greenleaf, vice president of investments, revealed the major trends and challenges in the business. The two also explained what attracts today’s residents and what makes them stay.

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Campus Apartments’ Student Housing Investment Strategy

Campus Apartments, under the leadership of President & Chief Investment Officer Dan Bernstein, is one of the U.S.’s largest providers of on- and off-campus student housing.

Since joining the Philadelphia-based company in 1993 while still in college, Bernstein has risen through the ranks and now oversees Campus Apartments’ investments, operations and asset management groups. During his 25 years, he has created high-profile public-private partnerships and has been involved in more than $2 billion of development and acquisitions.

Bernstein took some time to talk to MHN about his student housing investment strategy.

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