Steady to declining University admissions and student housing

2 Replies

My husband and I are considering in investing in a duplex or single family home in Plymouth, NH. There is a university there and a high rental population. Bedrooms in houses and apartments tend to rent for 3200-3800 per semester so it is a very lucrative market. My husband and I live about an hour and a half away and work full time but would plan on placing tenants ourselves and having an emergency on call maintenance person close by. The numbers work really well, but I am worried about how long the university may stay open. According to what I read online, Keen State in NH has declining admissions, Plymouth has been stable, and UNH has actually increased. Plymouth did have a major lay off in 2016 and are "restructuring". With all the virtual/online learning I know there is a major shift happening.  I would love opinions on if it is wise to invest in this market or whether I should stay on the Seacoast and elsewhere. The  barrier to entry is so much lower in Plymouth because houses are much cheaper to get into. I am speaking to a loan officer tomorrow about the possibilities of getting a property at less than 20% down which would make it even more attractive. I live in Dover, NH and on the seacoast, by comparison, a duplex is between 220,000 - 300,000 where in Plymouth I can get a single family 4 bedroom house for $150,000 and rent per bedroom at $3200 per semester (or 4 months twice a year) or a duplex at about $180,000. The numbers definitely work better in Plymouth but the risk seems much higher. I do not see appreciation as a factor in Plymouth. Would love to hear opinions on Plymouth State University's future, the future of student rentals as a whole, or any other relatable topic. Also, wondering what others are doing, that are already invested in a student housing market to adapt if the college has closed? 

Another key factor with Plymouth is that they've added to on-campus housing and have plans for more I believe, so potentially a tougher market for student landlords. * Make sure anything you buy in Plymouth is allowed to have student housing in it, the town has been cracking down on this and many of the downtown neighborhoods have had enough of the partying of students in residential areas etc. Most students want to be able to walk to campus, so keep that in mind, too. Lots of competition from other established student landlords, so if you find a place that meets the relevant criteria, be prepared to move fast!

Thank you for the advice @richard dale-mesaros! I don't think we will be going into student housing in Plymouth. Too much risk and too far away. 

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