College Parents Buying Homes vs Rent or Dorms

Dennis Norman

A study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC shows that this fall as parents said goodbye to their college-bound kids, fewer of those kids were heading to dorms or apartments that are typically associated with college housing but instead will be heading to homes their parents bought for them to live in.  In fact, 64 percent of real estate professionals in college towns surveyed said they had seen a significant number of “parent investors” buying homes for their kids to live in while attending college.

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 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 (price shown is average listing price):

  1. Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $105,115
  2. University of Buffalo: Buffalo, N.Y. The State University of New York $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.”

The top 10 most expensive markets in the Coldwell Banker Real Estate College Home Listing Report are (prices shown are average 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


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