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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The prices for U.S. student housing have never been higher, rising to an average of nearly $92,000 per bed, data shows.

How we got here: Previously a lightly invested subsection of the housing market, investment managers, REITs and cross-border investors jumped in with both feet and were behind 50% of all acquisitions in the sector by early 2018. That's up from just 30% a few years ago, new reporting from Real Capital Analytics finds.

  • Investors have saturated the space to the point that capitalization rates — the profitability potential on real estate investments over a one-year horizon — have fallen to a record low.
  • "Student housing was once a property sector ... not managed by professional investors," Jim Costello, senior vice president at Real Capital Analytics, writes. "Institutional investors have 'discovered' this sector in the current economic cycle and price performance has reached record highs as a result."

The big picture: Student housing prices are just the latest example of the ongoing doldrums in the U.S. housing market that has been driven largely by decreasing home affordability, even though price increases have slowed in 2019 and mortgage rates are near record lows.

Expand chart
Data: Real Capital Analytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The housing market is still out of reach for average Americans, according to the U.S. Home Affordability Report, released Wednesday by ATTOM Data Solutions. The report found that median selling prices were too high for average wage earners in three-fourths of U.S. real estate markets in Q2.

  • And while affordability is improving in four out of five markets compared with last year, the gap between home-price appreciation and wage growth has barely budged.

What to watch: "After robust gains over the past five years, the nationwide nominal house price index is now 40% above its 2012 low-point and 4% above the peak reached in 2006," analysts at JPMorgan concluded in a recent study.

Go deeper: The Fed says student loans are smothering the housing market

Go deeper

Updated 29 mins ago - Sports

IOC: Belarus sprinter who sought refuge in Tokyo "safe"

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya of Belarus in 2019. Photo: Ivan Romano/Getty Images

Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who sought refuge in Tokyo, is in the care of Japanese authorities and the UN refugee agency is now involved in her case, an International Olympic Committee official told reporters Monday.

The latest: Officials in Poland and the Czech Republic have offered to help the 24-year-old sprinter, who refused national team orders to board a flight home after being taken to Tokyo's Haneda airport Sunday following her criticism of Belarusian coaches, per Reuters

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Team Italy crosses the finish line ahead of American Fred Kerley in the men's 100m final on day nine of the Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

🚨: IOC "looking into" American Raven Saunders' Olympic podium gesture

🏃🏾: Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs: Reconnecting with U.S. father "gave me the desire to win" Olympic 100m sprint race.

🥇High jumpers persuade Olympic officials to let them share gold

🏌️‍♂️: Golfer Xander Schauffele wins gold for U.S. by one shot

🤸🏿‍♀️: Simone Biles won't compete in Olympic floor finals, individual vault or uneven bars

🏳️‍⚧️: Axios at the Olympics: Games grapple with trans athletesTrans athletes see the Tokyo Games as a watershed moment

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

IOC "looking into" American Raven Saunders' Olympic podium gesture

Team USA's Raven Saunders gestures on the podium with her silver medal after competing in the women's shot put event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee is "looking into" U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders' gesture on the Tokyo Games podium after she won a silver medal, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told reporters Monday.

Why it matters: Saunders told AP she placed her hands above her head in an "X" formation while on the podium to stand up for "oppressed" people. The IOC has banned protests during the Tokyo Games.