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The Comparison of UW-Madison’s Student Housing to Off-Campus Student Housing Market in Madison, Wisconsin, and Social Economic Implications (Abstract)

By Marco Izzia, Jiaxin Li, Elizabeth Parker, Fred Jean Pierre, Yuanyuan Shen

This study compared student housing prices and size between the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s on-campus dormitories and private off-campus units advertised as student housing in Madison, Wisconsin. We ran descriptive statistics on both the price and size of each unit using data from sources provided in part by the UW-Madison Housing services. The off-campus addresses that reported the highest and lowest ten percent of price were plotted in a series of maps as well as every on-campus dormitory to find relevant geospatial patterns. The amenities collected were sorted by type (Academic, Functional, and Luxury) and analyzed for emerging patterns between the on- and off-campus market. We also researched how unsustainable housing costs affect students, and how UW-Madison attempts to combat this issue. We observed that 1) on-campus housing prices seemingly are not impacted by market supply and demand, whereas, conversely, off-campus housing is as observed in the congruent change in price with amenities and size; 2) concerning the available comparable data, Price/SqFt of dorms is higher — costing more than double than any other unit type in the private market; and 3) the vast majority of both lowest and highest cost housing in the private market is clustered around the UW-Madison campus, however, the relative proximity in a location may seemingly not play a major role in varying the price of units. Our team suggests that UW-Madison formulates transparent talking points to educate incoming students about housing options and its relative affordability and now the new realities of COVID-19 and its impact on student housing.

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