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.

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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

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.