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Student Housing Consolidation: Is the industry growing or shrinking?

student housing consolidation Blog IBR
Jul. 01, 2021

The student housing industry as we know it was largely formed in the late nineties, which means we’re coming up on 25 years.  A lot has changed.  What have we learned and where are we headed?

The team at Ice Breaker has been thinking about the student housing industry a lot lately amid the start of Interface 2021.  One of the hard-hitting topics that’s been on our minds is: consolidation.

Despite a larger overall investment in the industry, is the institutional student housing space growing or shrinking in terms of players in the game?

We’ve seen one of the major REIT’s and largest student housing owners go-private and several mid-size portfolios consolidate under institutional roll-up to be managed by 1-2 large managers.  Simultaneously, we’ve seen a host of upstart developers aggressively raise capital and compete in primary and secondary markets with compelling, boutique products alongside national brands.

These inflow and outflow tides have created partner-level roles for seasoned talent to join these upstarts and the collapse and consolidation (due to duplication and overlap) of longstanding roles at bellweather firms.  Generally, unless you are a “made partner” the past two years has not been a time to rest on the professional laurels of prior career accomplishments, rather a time to look ahead to what the Student Housing industry will look like and WHO it will look like in five years from now.

We are up for a discussion about your personal experience in the student housing industry, your options and to help you devise a plan for “what’s next.”  Reach out to the team, here.


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