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CoStar Acquires Online Student Housing Marketplace

CoStar Group HQ
CoStar Group's HQ at 1331 L St. NW in Washington, D.C.

Commercial real estate data giant CoStar Group is expanding its network of multifamily listing websites with a new acquisition. 

The D.C.-based company announced Thursday it acquired Off Campus Partners, an online marketplace for student housing. It did not disclose the acquisition price. 

Off Campus Partners, founded by a University of Virginia student in 2000, provides an online listing service for students, faculty and staff to find off-campus housing. It has contracts with 132 universities and services over 2 million students. 

"This is a massive market with tremendous growth opportunities for us to partner with more universities and attract more advertisers, especially small independent owners," CoStar CEO Andy Florance said in a release.

CoStar has grown its multifamily listing network through acquisitions, including the 2014 purchase of Apartments.com, the 2015 purchase of ApartmentFinder.com and the 2017 acquisition of ForRent. The company says it attracts 49 million unique visitors across its online marketplaces. 

The company could ramp up its acquisition activity even more if the economy enters a recession. Florance told Bisnow in December he sees economic downturns as opportunistic times to buy companies. 

"In economic cycles, we’ve historically maintained our revenue and used it as an opportunity to accelerate our acquisition of companies," Florance said. "We tend to buy more companies in downturns because they are less expensive. So in a way, we never look forward to a downturn, but we will take advantage of a downturn."

Related Topics: Andy Florance, CoStar Group