In his book Profit by Investing in Student Housing: Cash In On the Campus Housing Shortage, veteran real estate investor Michael H. Zaransky makes a compelling argument for a long-term bull market in college-town rental properties.
The foundation of Mr. Zaransky's idea is based on sound fundamental trends: an increase in the college age population combined with an increase in the percentage of young people attending college and aging and obsolete college dorms and state budgetary pressures can only lead to one place: a shortage of student housing in college towns.
Mr. Zaransky also provides a simple -- and brilliant -- way for evaluating a college town for investment: start with the university-owned beds to students ratio. The lower the number, the more desirable the location. The book covers everything from starting out with one condo all the way up to large development deals and is a surprisingly fun and readable romp. Zaransky really loves real estate and his passion comes through.
If you have a child in college or about to be in college and you have some money to invest, you absolutely must read this book. If you consider yourself a real estate investor, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not picking up a copy.
And if you're not ready to commit to buying property on your own, you should at least take a look at the real estate investment trusts specializing in student housing.
Book review: Profit by Investing in Student Housing