Student Housing REIT EdR Finds External Growth Opportunities

Randy Churchey, president and CEO of student housing REIT EdR (NYSE: EDR), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.

Churchey said external growth through on-campus development is “our most exciting opportunity.” Demand is coming from universities that are running low on funds and have aging housing stock that needs to be upgraded to recruit new students, he explained.

From an internal standpoint, EdR’s business is “very recession resistant,” Churchey said. He pointed out that during the last 11 years, the student housing industry has never posted negative net operating income.

“What investors like is our great external growth opportunity and very stable internal growth that looks like it’s going to continue for a long period of time,” Churchey said.

Meanwhile, Churchey said interest rates and supply are the main elements to watch at this point in the business cycle. Supply is in check, he said, while EdR’s debt to gross assets ratio is 25 percent.

“If interest rates spike, it’s not really going to impact our business. We’re really set up well for the future,” Churchey said.