November 16, 2010 10:29 am
RISMEDIA, November 16, 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% 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), which provides the average home listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties listed for sale between April and September 2010 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:
1. Ball State University, Muncie, Ind. Average listing price: $105,115
2. University of Buffalo: The State University of New York, Buffalo, N.Y. Average listing price: $117,223
3. University of Memphis, Memphis, Tenn. Average listing price: $135,090
4. University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. Average listing price: $137,707
5. University of Akron, Akron, Ohio Average listing price: $139,711
6. Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich. Average listing price: $141,629
7. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio Average listing price: $141,964
8. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio Average listing price: $153,662
9. University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio Average listing price: $155,286
10. Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, La. Average listing price: $157,110
Coldwell Banker Real Estate found that college towns have continued to be a hot spot for real estate investing, regardless of the downturn in the economy. Seventy-three 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% seeing a decrease in this trend over the past five years.
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 percent of the survey respondents noted they see a lot of alumni homebuyers, and 49% 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."