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HARRISBURG: Got 20,000 Kids? Get Financing


Student housing projects are popping up in markets big and small. But finding financing is a totally deal-by-deal enterprise, Marcus & Millichap's Kris Wood tells us. Developing near schools in big markets with more than 20,000 students will usually yield a relatively easy process, Kris says, since banks and agency lenders feel those spots increase investor spreads and raise guarantee fees. (Yet another reason our dad could've used when telling us not to go to a small, bucolic, liberal-arts school in Montana.)


That makes developing outside large, hot markets like the Northeast or Southwest a trickier endeavor. Kris and colleague John Banas recently closed a 10-year, almost $12M loan, for a year-old complex near Penn State Harrisburg, a school with only 5,000 students. But since the school was in the finance-heavy Northeast, the process was much smoother. "That deal in suburban Atlanta is a lot harder to get done," Kris tells us, since institutional dollars might not flow there as heavily as up north.