With newer complexes being built each year, there has been a slow to the once intense demand for student housing. Students can be pickier over living quarters, and it is causing complexes to react.
Nico Brouwer, Ole Miss student and Gather Oxford resident, said he recently noticed his complex has had a tough time filling spaces.
“This will be my second year living in the Gather,” Brouwer said. “I lived in a four-person complex with one other kid the whole entire year.”
Gather, which consists of 13 two-story buildings with eight apartments each housing four persons per unit, offers all sorts of amenities including free Wi-Fi and fully furnished complexes.
Brouwer said he thinks the problem is not the Gather itself: Instead, he believes it is location.
“Most students after freshman year want to live off of the Square,” Brouwer said. “The desire to live off of the Square forces more students to sign leases in closer proximity to the Square, which causes a decrease in leasing for complexes not near the Square.”
According to a recent U.S. news article, about 78 percent of Ole Miss students live off campus. Of that, 78 percent, it seems, prefers housing near the Square.
Ross Devers, Ole Miss student and Bramlett Boulevard resident, said he lived at The Retreat and was offered a renewal, but he declined it with desire of living near the Square.
But location is not everything to everyone.
Micheal Mooney, Ole Miss student and future Gather resident, said he just recently signed a lease with Gather in early July, claiming the incentives given to him were what convinced him.
“My friend reached out to me and said the Gather was offering $150 off rent each month,” Mooney said “I couldn’t believe how easy it was to sign a lease this late.”
Mooney said he believes it is not just Gather that has seen a decrease in leases signed. He said he reached out to other student housing complexes, such as Campus Creek and the Hub, and found they also had space available.
“I use to live in the Hub my sophomore year, and it was packed,” Mooney said. “I reached out to them recently, and they told me they still had space available, and I couldn’t believe it. A few years ago, you were on waiting lists to get leases signed.”
Jones Kinsley, leasing agent for the Hub, said that recently they have seen a boost in leases signed but admits they are not where they were a few years ago.
“We have recently seen a boost in leases signed from a year ago,” Kinsley said. “But that is in part due to our low leasing turnout the past few years.”
Kinsley said the recent rise in their leasing is due to new property management and leasing incentives they are now offering.
“We needed to get rid of old property management and start new,” Kinsley said “If we need to offer incentives to our lessees in order to increase leasing rates, then we will continue doing so, and we did.”
Nayoko Brock, the Hub’s leasing and marketing manager, said the hub has increased almost 30 percent in leases signed since summer 2016.
“Once we began offering incentives, we saw a major boost in our leasing,” Brock said. “This time last year, we had only 44 percent of our leases signed. As of now, we are at 79 percent.”
Complexes such as the Hub and Gather will continue to offer incentives to increase leasing rates.