Even with more student housing under way in Norman, for a nearly 400 percent increase since 1999, supply is just keeping up with enrollment at the University of Oklahoma, according to a multifamily brokerage's study.
The newest complex is the 600-bed Grove at Norman by Charlotte, N.C.-based Campus Crest Communities Inc., near State Highway 9 and 12th Avenue SE. Work has just begun on the complex, which is estimated at $15 million to $20 million.
The Grove will bring the supply of per-bed, student-oriented suite properties — two or more bedrooms sharing a common area — to 6,398 beds, Commercial Realty Resources Co. reported in its second annual Norman Student Housing Analysis.
Broker-owner Mike Buhl looked at campus dorms and apartment complexes — traditional as well as the newer per-bed, student-oriented properties — within an area of about 8 square miles bounded by Berry Road on the west, 24th Avenue SE on the east, Boyd Street on the north and State Highway 9 on the south.
Considering recent increases in OU enrollment and a big drop in the percentage of students living outside of Norman, Buhl estimated overall vacancy at 3.5 percent and per-bed vacancy at less than 2 percent. A 1 percent increase in fall 2012 enrollment — over last fall's enrollment of 23,850 — would leave the market “essentially full,” Buhl said.
“We conclude that the new development is needed in anticipation of the future enrollment growth at the University of Oklahoma,” he wrote in the report.