... investors in student housing may not be getting a risk-adjusted return that fully recognizes the extra risks that come with ownership of these properties. “You need a little more cushion for student housing. The capital expenditures are higher, and there are other operational risks. You need a higher cap rate for that.”
Some student housing experts, however, point out that demand for student housing can be even stronger in an economic downturn than conventional demand for apartment rentals because college enrollment tends to rise in tough economic times.
“Student housing yields are still very attractive,” says Baird. “Cap rates are very close to multifamily, but the strength of the asset class going into and during a downturn gives it a leg up on multifamily for long term investors.” [Source]