Over the last two years, general contractors and developers have been on their toes with the fast-changing demand shifts across the student housing landscape. Between COVID-19 spiking the need for health and safety optimization to advancements in immersive technology creating a desire for more digital features, general contractor FaverGray has been working strategically to address from all angles.
As any student housing general contractor knows, new trends and innovations are continuously emerging. As a result, the FaverGray team has performed an analysis of where student housing has come from, where it is now, and used that data to predict where the industry will likely go into the future. Below you can discover our 2022 forecasted predictions, all in an effort to help developers and investors achieve continuous success.
Technology and utilizing smart infrastructure have been an ongoing trend for more than two decades. However, there is now a rising hyper-focus on integrating devices for more than just extending modernization and convenience; there is now a prevalent push for optimizing security and safety. Today and throughout the year 2022, the probability of incorporating more advanced surveillance, reinforcing (smart) door locks, and keyless entry using smartphones is at an all-time high. In general, these technological amenities will not only attract students, but will simultaneously streamline building management, improve security precautions, and create safer, more secure environments that everyone can benefit from.
The kitchen area is becoming a primary focal point that might be the cornerstone trend for 2022 student housing. In the past, general contractors strived to accommodate the desire for larger kitchens to support space concerns for shared units. That trend is beginning to shift fundamentally since the start of the post-pandemic era. Today, most students are eating on campus and taking advantage of external services like Uber Eats, Door Dash, and other take-out and delivery services.
Due to this, general contractors and student housing developers are now considering the concept of shared kitchen common areas instead of building out large kitchens within the units themselves. This change will ultimately save expenses on larger kitchens that are rarely used, all while supporting students on their nutritional and community engagement objectives along the way.
Each year, fewer students bring their own cars to campus. This indicates that they are leveraging the growing number of dynamic transportation options. Because of that, student housing locations have since begun dialing back their parking areas to accommodate about 50% of the students, which still typically leaves an unfilled lot. So, what are developers doing with that extra space? They are promoting better walkability by converting paved areas back into greener spaces. And intertwining the trend above, many general contractors are integrating rideshare pickup and drop-off areas in those freed-up areas to accommodate this strong, alternative transportation trend.
The student housing industry has made a significant rebound since COVID-19 and keeping up with the new expectations of students. Though the trends in development and student desires will likely not be as drastic as it was the year prior, 2022 still holds its own set of dynamic requirements and is coupled with tightening up integrations from the year prior. As complex as it may seem, it is certainly heading in the right direction.
Overall, going from a national shutdown caused by the pandemic one year followed by fast-acting surges to accommodate the next, has certainly led to a long two years filled with revaluation and smart student housing developments. Though general contractors have come a long way to meet the needs and demands of the student housing market, trends still inevitably continue to surface, and being prepared for what those will likely be is ideal to position your development team for success long-term.