Greenville housing study shows over-saturated student market

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Monday’s Greenville City Council meeting brought to light the results of a city issues student housing study.

The city prompted study from 2017, found that student housing complexes average more than an eleven percent vacancy rate.

Jessica Rossi is the planner with the firm Kimley-Horne. Rossi said, “If you look at industry standard or benchmark for what they consider to be a healthy standard or apartment vacancy rate, that’s really more like 5 percent”

Rossi said Greenville sits at more than double the preferred rate.

She continued to point out the difference between student and market-based housing.

Rossi said the vacancies left at student housing sites will hurt the overall market for future complexes.

Council Member Kandie Smith of District 1 expressed the same concern. Smith said, “If we continue to allow student housing in the core area then we are going to be low on any chance of having market rate housing.”

The study looked at ECU and Pitt Community College student population versus the demand for off-campus housing.

Nearly 80 percent of ECU students living off campus and the results found the supply of available homes far exceeds the demand for them.

Rossi said, “Greenville has about 11,000 bedrooms that target students off campus. More than one-third of them are located more than three miles away from ECU’s campus.”

Rossi said those properties found more than three miles away from campus hold some of the highest vacancies with anywhere between 18-30 percent.

The city has two properties currently in construction less than half a mile from ECU’s campus. Many worry the vacancy rates in those properties will only increase.

To view the full study CLICK HERE.

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