Students rush to find off campus housing
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 23:04
Brittany Young, property manager for Campus Commons located on Spring Street, said although she does not fully understand the students’ reasoning, she thinks the house hunt is early due to competition for the latest locations. However, Campus Commons does not lease units until Sept. 1 of the upcoming school year to give tenants more time to decide if they would like to continue living in their apartments, according to Young.
“We think that it is unfair to make people sign for two years,” Young said. “We try to make things as easy as possible.”
Jane Swift, co-owner of Swift Rentals, has seen smaller groups of two to four students come in looking for apartments because they rushed into large houses the previous year.
“So much can change; you can evolve so much as a person in those two years,” Swift said. “Don’t ever sign a lease in a place of fear. Trust in abundance that something will be there when you are ready to sign.”
Upperclassmen unsatisfied with the residence halls and unable to find a house often rent from Level 27 Apartments or from Hawk’s Landing Apartments, according to Deaton.
“For next year, we decided to live at Hawk’s,” Deaton said. “It’s a little farther away than where we live now, but it’s also cheaper.”
According to Bowling, apartments are often to most cost-effective solution for students, while residence halls and house rates are often similar.
“If you consider all room types in the residence halls [single, premiere single, multiple, super quad, apartment] the average rates would be $3,890 (per semester),” Bowling said. “Generally, the rates of local Oxford housing opportunities are more expensive the closer they are to campus.”
The average rates of Hawk’s Landing and Level 27 are $5,268 and $5,340 respectively for 12-month leases, according to the company websites.
“Our properties in Oxford are in good, but not great locations, and are of above average quality,” O’Brien said. “They typically average to about $5,000-$6,400 per resident for the year.”
Alan Kyger, Oxford economic development director, said he understands landlords’ need to fill their units.
“We’re in a free market, and a free market is going to dictate when people can rent houses and when they can’t or when they are available and when they are not,” Kyger said. “There’s nothing dastardly about this policy. Again, [the landlords’] hope is to get their units filled as soon as they can, and if they know they can get three fourths of their units rented, they can then concentrate on renting the other one fourth of their units, instead of waiting until the last minute.”
While real-estate agencies focus on renting their properties, students have shown interest in signing earlier despite a surplus in housing options, according to Burke.
“This year, we have more landlords signing earlier,” Burke said. “I think that this is probably in self-defense. If one or two landlords are going to do it, then the others are losing out. But I would say that an answer to the problem would be to convince students to slow down. There are plenty of places. It’s a disadvantage for the students to sign so quickly.”
Students can learn about Oxford’s housing options at Living Off-Campus Information Sessions. A housing fair will be held Sept. 5 to answer student questions.