Austin, Texas — American Campus Communities provided an interim update ahead of this week’s 2021 National Multifamily Housing Council student housing conference.
As of Sept. 30, the company’s 2021 and 2022 same store portfolios were 95.8 percent leased with 3.3 and 3.8 percent average rental rate growth over the prior year, respectively. This compares to the company’s previously provided expectations of 92.0 to 94.0 percent leased with 2.5 to 3.0 and 3.0 to 3.5 percent average rental rate growth.
“We are very pleased to have driven a strong finish to the lease-up with significant activity continuing into August and September, which produced opening academic year revenue growth of over 8 percent and allowed us to increase our guidance midpoint by 4 percent,” says Bill Bayless, CEO of the Austin, Texas-based company. “Our sector is experiencing substantial tailwinds and appears to have almost entirely recovered from the impacts of COVID-19. Nearly all universities across the country have resumed in-person academic and social activities.”
The company is increasing its 2021 outlook primarily to reflect the completion of the fall 2021 lease-up and anticipated results for the remainder of the year. Based upon these and other factors, ACC expects that 2021 FFO will be in the range of $2.06 to $2.14 and FFOM will be in the range of $2.04 to $2.12 per fully diluted share, respectively.
“According to RealPage, national student housing occupancy has returned to pre-pandemic levels and new supply is projected to continue to trend downward, with fall 2022 expected to represent the lowest levels of new student housing beds delivered in more than a decade,” continues Bayless. “These recent trends — including strong demand and low supply — underpin our confidence in the unique value of our portfolio as well as our ability to generate near and long-term shareholder value.”