October 09, 2015

Freddie Mac's support for student housing

In our most recent Insight & Outlook we explore the topic of student loan debt and homeownership.  Many housing experts expected the homeownership rate – which has been declining since 2004 – to rebound as Millennials entered the housing market. Instead, the homeownership rate has continued to decline. Even the homeownership rate for the under-35-year-old segment of the market has declined. The full report is online.

Most people are aware of Freddie Mac's support for affordable workforce rental housing. However many are unaware that Freddie Mac also provides financing for student housing through its multifamily division.

The cost of student housing comprises a significant component of the overall cost of attending college. The University of California at Berkeley publishes estimates of the all-in cost of attendance to help students prepare for the financial burden of attending Cal. For the 2015-16 academic year, the tuition for an in-state resident is $13,432. Cal estimates the cost of living in a campus residence hall (room and board) at $14,388 – almost a thousand dollars more than tuition and over 40 percent of the total estimated cost of attendance.

So far in 2015, Freddie Mac has funded over $1.5 billion in loans for student housing providing over 30,000 units at colleges and universities across the country. Student housing is a growing sector of the multifamily market. Freddie Mac's participation in financing student housing makes college more affordable for more students.

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