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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Off-campus rent prices skyrocket

With limited housing options for Stony Brook students, off-campus housing rent prices have skyrocketed since 2010. STATESMAN FILE

Stony Brook University is ranked number 1 in a list of 20 college towns where rent has significantly increased since 2010, according to

The website analyzed data pulled from the U.S. American Community Survey, a survey administered and collected by the Census Bureau, to zero in on 200 college cities. They found that rent increased dramatically in 182 of the 200 cities.

At Stony Brook, average rent prices have increased a total of $871 or 61 percent from 2010 to 2015. Rent for students was around $1430 in 2010, a figure which had increased to $2,301 by 2015. This number has likely risen since then, posing a problem to students at the university who are seeking to rent in nearby communities.

While a 2010 price of $1,430 was already a large sum, especially in comparison to Cornell University’s 2010 rent price of $822, or Pennsylvania State University’s 2010 figure of $798, the 2015 price of $2,301 can be a daunting obstacle for students to overcome.

Although the reason for the national trends of increasing rent prices for college students varies from place to place, offers a brief analysis of the causes for this staggering increase in rent prices at Stony Brook.

The Stony Brook community has been resistant to student renters, causing a disparity between supply and demand for affordable student housing in the area. Landlords and community members are sometimes wary of renting to college students, leaving only a limited number of housing options for Stony Brook University’s ever-expanding student body. The town of Brookhaven, where many students look to rent, has started cracking down on code violations by increasing inspections for student-rented properties and punishing landlords who have too many student renters. Inevitably, faced with a large demand for off-campus housing and a relatively low supply, rent prices have increased exponentially for Stony Brook University students.

While this may be a deal-breaker for many people, Stony Brook has a large percentage of commuter students and on-campus residents. Alfredo Esposito, a junior studying marine vertebrate biology, said that the high rent prices in the area have not affected his living choices during his enrollment.

“No, living off campus was never something I considered,” Esposito, an on-campus resident, said.

Demetra Kontokostas, a senior English major and commuter, was forced to reconcile her expectations for college when faced with the financial reality posed by unfriendly housing conditions.

“When I first decided to come to Stony Brook my thought was, ‘How great, home away from home. Maybe me and a few friends could rent a house close to campus.’ That never happened and the major factor was finances,” Kontokostas said. “I spent that entire year nagging my friends about moving off campus, but we could never find something that was reasonable.”

No other SUNY schools made it to the top 20 of’s list of highest rent increases.

“It is very frustrating when I hear about all the great stories about living off campus from my  friends who go away to other SUNY schools,”Kontokostas said. “For instance, a friend of mine goes to New Paltz, she dormed her first year and since has lived in a house where [she] has her own bedroom, two bathrooms, full kitchen, living room –  the whole nine yards – and she only pays $400 a month… Try finding something in a 100 mile radius from SBU for $400, you’ll end up in a shoe box.”


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  • M

    MatthewMay 7, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    That $2300 figure, and even higher, is a whole house rental. Landlords then split the homes into 4 bedrooms for students. That’s about $600/ month which is comparable, if not cheaper, than the costs on campus, for smaller space. The real problem is… the surrounding area to SBU is zoned as Single Family Home communities. SBU needs to use the land they have, and the land they confiscated by eminent domain, and build more housing.

  • B

    Ben WiniarskiMay 4, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    You might be best looking at where exactly the $2300 figure comes from. In looking for off campus housing, it was normal for that to be the rental price on a 3 or 4 bedroom house in the area. Even using sbu’s off campus resources which are mostly sponsored gated apartment communities youd be hard pressed to find something close to the number you’re quoting.