SOURCE: Coldwell Banker

Coldwell Banker

November 11, 2010 06:00 ET

Coldwell Banker Real Estate Survey Finds New Trend in College Towns: "Parent Investors" Buying Homes vs. Spending on Rent or Dorms

Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report Released Ranking Affordability of College Towns; Muncie, Ind. Most Affordable College Town; Palo Alto, Calif. Most Expensive

PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwire - November 11, 2010) - Every fall, parents wave goodbye as their college-bound kids pack up their belongings, make the drive down university lane and prepare for football games, mid-terms and freedom. While college living is often associated with dorms and campus housing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC discovered that many parents are opting to purchase a home rather than spend money on rent or dorm fees. According to a recent survey among the Coldwell Banker® network of real estate professionals in college towns, 64 percent see a significant number of "parent investors" buying homes for their kids to live in while attending the university.

To see how college towns stack up in home price affordability, Coldwell Banker Real Estate released its new College Home Listing Report (College HLR) today, which provides the average home listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties listed for sale between April and September 2010 on coldwellbanker.com in markets home to the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision. With almost two-thirds of the College HLR markets having subject homes priced less than $250,000 (78 in total), college towns prove to be a touchdown for homebuyers.

The top 10 most affordable markets in the Coldwell Banker Real Estate College Home Listing Report are:

Rank College Town, State 2010 Average Home Listing Price
1 Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $105,115
2 University of Buffalo: The State University of New York Buffalo, N.Y. $117,223
3 University of Memphis Memphis, Tenn. $135,090
4 University of South Carolina Columbia, S.C. $137,707
5 University of Akron Akron, Ohio  $139,711
6 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Mich. $141,629
7 Ohio University Athens, Ohio $141,964
8 Kent State University Kent, Ohio $153,662
9 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $155,286
10 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, La. $157,110

"Towns that are home to major universities have a special vibe you just don't find anywhere else," said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and alumni of the Illinois Fighting Illini. "It's about more than just great sports and local flavor. College towns offer rich culture and most have steady economic bases oftentimes highlighted by outstanding medical and research facilities." 

While not all college towns are affordable, even the more expensive markets make great places to live.

The top 10 most expensive markets in the Coldwell Banker Real Estate College Home Listing Report are:

Rank College Town, State
2010 Average Home Listing Price
1 Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. $1,385,652
2 University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii $833,439
3 University of California LA Los Angeles, Calif. $833,087
University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif. $833,087
4 University of Colorado Boulder, Colo. $791,877
5 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Mass. $791,408
6 United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Md. $671,151
7 San Jose State University San Jose, Calif. $650,111
8 University of California Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. $636,958
9 University of Washington Seattle, Wash. $624,338
10 Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. $559,855

Additional Survey Findings:

Coldwell Banker Real Estate also found that college towns have continued to be a hot spot for real estate investing, regardless of the downturn in the economy. Seventy-three (73) percent of Coldwell Banker real estate professionals surveyed said they see a significant number of investors buying homes near campus and renting them to people in the community, with only 21 percent seeing a decrease in this trend over the past five years. 

"Our survey suggests two types of investors see value in college towns," Gillespie said. "Long-term investors take advantage of the steady stream of renters, including students, professors and university officials. Parent investors buy homes for their child to live in while attending college. Roommates provide rental income for the mortgage, and the hope is that students care for the home and it appreciates over time."

With so many benefits to living in a college town, they aren't just for investors. Alumni and retirees are finding reasons to re-live their glory days, as well. Fifty one (51) percent of the survey respondents noted they see a lot of alumni homebuyers, and 49 percent see a significant number of retirees moving to their college town.

"It's not just students who want to live near campus, attend games and take interesting classes," Gillespie said. "For a few years now, college towns have been popular markets for alumni and retirees. I'm a great example," he said. "I purchased a home in Champaign, Ill. to be near my alma mater, the University of Illinois, and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made, from both a lifestyle and a financial perspective."

Fun Fact:

The survey of Coldwell Banker real estate professionals uncovered that a college sports team's performance affects more than just a football ranking; nearly one quarter (24 percent) of respondents indicated that the success of a college's sports teams can have an impact on the local real estate market.

For a fun look at fans' perspectives, Coldwell Banker Real Estate spoke with dozens of people on a fall football Saturday for insider thoughts on what makes their college town special. To see these interviews, please visit Coldwell Banker On Location: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmglCxq1sck.

Below is the full College HLR ranking. Additional information on the College HLR and the larger HLR of U.S. and international markets can be found at http://hlr.coldwellbanker.com/.

Rank College Town, State 2010 Average Home Listing Price
1 Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $105,115
2 University of Buffalo: The State University of New York Buffalo, N.Y. $117,223
3 University of Memphis Memphis, Tenn. $135,090
4 University of South Carolina Columbia, S.C. $137,707
5 University of Akron Akron, Ohio $139,711
6 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Mich. $141,629
7 Ohio University Athens, Ohio $141,964
8 Kent State University Kent, Ohio $153,662
9 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $155,286
10 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, La. $157,110
11 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Mich. $159,214
12 Tulane University New Orleans, La. $163,818
13 Utah State University Logan, Utah $163,977
14 University of Nevada Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nev. $165,096
15 University of Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. $165,471
16 Kansas State University Manhattan, Kan. $167,478
17 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas $170,505
18 University of Tulsa Tulsa, Okla. $171,201
19 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla. $171,458
20 Baylor University Waco, Texas $171,490
21 Brigham Young University Provo, Utah $176,550
22 University of North Texas Denton, Texas $176,704
23 Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio $179,297
24 Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant, Mich. $180,033
25 Syracuse University Syracuse, N.Y. $180,201
26 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas $180,323
27 Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas $180,885
28 University of Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. $183,120
29 Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio $184,045
30 Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Ark. $184,045
31 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, N.C. $185,020
32 Purdue University Lafayette, Ind. $186,360
33 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Miss. $186,523
34 University of Louisiana Monroe Monroe, La. $188,192
35 University of Houston Rice University Houston, Texas $189,891
36 Iowa State University Ames, Iowa $190,943
37 East Carolina University Greenville, N.C. $191,307
38 University of Texas El Paso El Paso, Texas $195,254
39 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, Ky. $196,058
40 University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. $196,282
41 Boise State University Boise, Idaho $197,685
42 Troy University Troy, Ala. $199,962
43 Indiana University Bloomington, Ind. $201,005
44 University of Central Florida Orlando, Fla. $202,957
45 Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tenn. $203,058
46 University of Georgia Athens, Ga. $204,153
47 Miami University Oxford, Ohio $205,275
48 University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. $206,000
49 University of Nevada Reno, Nev. $209,799
50 University of Louisville Louisville, Ky. $210,168
51 University of Oklahoma Norman, Okla. $211,352
52 University of Kentucky Lexington, Ky. $211,485
53 University of Mississippi Oxford, Miss. $211,883
54 University of Kansas Lawrence, Kan. $213,008
55 Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, Tenn. $214,906
56 University of Missouri Columbia, Mo. $215,593
57 Washington State University Pullman, Wash. $217,954
58 University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. $218,895
59 Texas A&M University College Station, Texas $219,445
60 Fresno State University Fresno, Calif. $219,857
61 Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Ill. $221,322
62 Mississippi State University Starkville, Miss. $224,201
63 University of Louisiana Lafayette Lafayette, La. $225,157
64 United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, Colo. $228,245
65 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. $229,010
66 Arizona State University Tempe, Ariz. $229,223
67 New Mexico State University Las Cruces, N.M. $235,149
68 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio $235,351
69 Marshall University Huntington, W. Va. $235,666
70 University of Illinois Champaign, Ill. $235,702
71 Michigan State University East Lansing, Mich. $238,874
72 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, La. $239,941
73 University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho $240,558
74 Duke University Durham, N.C. $241,625
75 Auburn University Auburn, Ala. $241,667
76 University of Florida Gainesville, Fla. $247,974
77 University of South Florida Tampa, Fla. $249,614
78 University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala. $250,261
79 University of Connecticut Storrs, Conn. $250,272
80 Florida State University Tallahassee, Fla. $259,080
81 University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa $259,952
82 University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. $261,401
83 University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. $269,283
84 Clemson University Clemson, S.C. $272,155
85 Virginia Tech University Blacksburg/Roanoke, Va. $272,492
86 Penn State University State College, Pa. $276,900
87 West Virginia University Morgantown, W.Va. $279,086
88 University of Miami Florida International University Miami, Fla. $281,449
89 North Carolina State University Raleigh, N.C. $282,326
90 University of Texas Austin, Texas $292,326
91 University of Wisconsin Madison, Wis. $295,174
92 University of Alabama Birmingham Birmingham, Ala. $297,948
93 University of Arizona Tucson, Ariz. $301,652
94 University of Virginia Charlottesville, Va. $302,594
95 Georgia Tech University Atlanta, Ga. $318,666
96 Temple University Philadelphia, Pa. $325,162
97 University of Oregon Eugene, Ore. $325,241
98 Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore. $326,526
99 University of Maryland College Park, Md. $338,215
100 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. $347,347
101 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Fla. $378,692
102 Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colo. $390,168
103 University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. $393,220
104 United States Military Academy West Point, N.Y. $412,804
105 University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah $428,193
106 Rutgers University New Brunswick, N.J. $457,810
107 San Diego State University San Diego, Calif. $540,709
108 Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. $559,855
109 University of Washington Seattle, Wash. $624,338
110 University of California Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. $636,958
111 San Jose State University San Jose, Calif. $650,111
112 United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Md. $671,151
113 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Mass. $791,408
114 University of Colorado Boulder, Colo. $791,877
115 University of California LA University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif. $833,087
116 University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii $833,439
117 Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. $1,385,652

Methodology: College Home Listing Report

The Coldwell Banker College Home Listing Report includes residential real estate listings appearing on ColdwellBanker.com between April and September 2010 for all real estate markets home to the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, which each had at least six home listings during the timeframe. This market data includes property listings from Coldwell Banker affiliates as well as listings from other Realogy franchise brands that fit the same four-bedroom, two-bathroom criteria. 

Methodology: Coldwell Banker Real Estate Professionals Survey

Coldwell Banker Real Estate conducted an online survey of 425 self-selected real estate professionals who represent markets home to major college or universities.

About Coldwell Banker®

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier provider of full-service residential and commercial real estate. Coldwell Banker is the oldest national real estate brand in the United States and today has a network of nearly 92,000 sales associates and brokers working in approximately 3,300 offices in 50 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker brand is known for creating innovative consumer services as recently seen by being the first national real estate brand to augment its web site www.coldwellbanker.com for smart phones, the first to create a iPhone application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On Location(SM) YouTube channel. The Coldwell Banker system is a leader in specialty markets such as resort, new homes and luxury properties through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® marketing program. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated. 

Contact Information

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    Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC
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