Winning College Football Teams Drive Up Rents
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This is pretty funny. From DNYUZ:

How College Football Is Clobbering Housing Markets Across the Country

December 18, 2023

Rashe Malcolm loves her son Wayne and his girlfriend, but she’d also love it if they could move out of the three-bedroom home in Athens, Ga., that she shares with the couple, both 23, as well as her husband and two of her three other children.

But the rent is too high for anyone to go anywhere, at least locally.

“If you go to these newer units, I mean if you can get one for $1,800, that’s considered cheap,” said Ms. Malcolm, 48. “For a one-bedroom—a one-bedroom. It’s like $2,100 on average.”

Life in Athens, a city of about 127,000 residents, is centered around its largest employer: the flagship campus of the University of Georgia, which enrolls more than 40,000 students and employs about 10,000 people. Like many U.S. cities, it has seen rents rise over the past few years, even as developers have added new units to the market. Much of the construction is luxury off-campus housing for the growing student population.

But Ms. Malcolm believes that the rent issue in Athens has more to do with football.

The Georgia Bulldogs—the two-time defending national champions—draw some 90,000 spectators to Sanford Stadium for six or seven home games every fall, essentially creating an alternate market for short-term rentals that lasts about three months. Real estate investors are buying and building homes for fans who will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a weekend of housing for a home game, and the effects are impacting local residents all year long. According to AirDNA, which tracks the performance data of Airbnb and VRBO vacation rentals, there are currently 1,135 short-term rentals available in Athens—up from 865 in November 2022—with 88 percent of them comprising an entire private home.

… Athens is no outlier. Around the United States, in small cities reliant on college sports to keep their economies humming, short-term rentals are destabilizing housing markets, fueled by wealthy fans and investors who transform single-family homes into de facto hotels for a few weeks out of the year, and often leave them sitting empty the rest of the time.

“College athletics, in particular college football, have become so enormous in this country, particularly in the Southeast, that it has caused this phenomenon of short-term rentals,” said Adrien Bouchet, director of the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida. “On one hand it creates value, but on the other hand, it definitely hurts people that have lived in and around the university for a long time.”

Mr. Bouchet pointed to similar market trends in Southern college towns like Auburn, Ala., Tuscaloosa, Ala., Gainesville, Fla., and Oxford, Miss., where football rules the economy during the fall. Over the past year, the supply of short-term rentals has grown 34 percent in Tuscaloosa (home to the University of Alabama), 33 percent in Columbia, Mo. (University of Missouri), and 11 percent in South Bend, Ind. (University of Notre Dame), according to data from AirDNA. Bookings typically peak in November.

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