Coldwell Banker Finds Great Value in College Town Living

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (Nov. 15, 2011)Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC today released its 2011 College Home Listing Report (College HLR), which ranks college towns across the country in home affordability. The report provides the average home listing prices for three-bedroom, two-bathroom properties that were listed for sale on between August 2010 and August 2011 in markets home to 117* of the 120 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.  According to the report, three-bedroom homes cost less than $200,000 on average in nearly two-thirds of the college towns included (76 markets) and less than $150,000 in nearly one-quarter (26 markets). In the most affordable market, Memphis, Tenn., (home to University of Memphis) the average listing price of a three-bedroom home is $89,244. The full ranking is available at

“I love the College Home Listing Report, because it highlights the amazing affordability of the college towns that define the fabric of America,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Our report underscores the homeownership opportunities in many of these vibrant, affordable communities that are known for their high energy, educational systems and often stable job markets.”

Gillespie can speak first-hand about the benefits of buying a home in a college town, having purchased a townhouse in Champaign, Ill., home to his alma mater, the University of Illinois. “I am a huge fan of the culture and events, and found this to be a wonderful investment and an excellent spot for my family when we come to see the Fighting Illini in action,” Gillespie said. “In Champaign, a three-bedroom home currently lists at an average of $178,310, which is remarkable considering its unbeatable Midwestern charm and location.”

Local Testaments to College Town Living
Big and small, affordable or more expensive, many residents and community members attest to all that college towns have to offer. For example, Evanston, Ill., home to Northwestern University, comes with a higher price tag, where an average three-bedroom home listing price is $385,540, but many say it is worth the cost.

“Evanston is a great community on the lakefront, just north of Chicago,” said Cornelia Steffes, manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Evanston-Central office. “We have easy access to Lake Michigan, beaches and water sports. Plus, we have fabulous arts and culture, festivals and dining, sports and leisure. It is truly a world-class city in a world class location.”

Other iconic college towns such as Madison, Wis., home to the University of Wisconsin (where a three-bedroom home’s listing average is $221,100) and Gainesville, Fla., (University of Florida, $192,055) are known for both their college town spirit and affordability.

“One reason Madison is such a great place to live is because of the incredible vitality the University of Wisconsin provides in economic development,” said Phil Sveum, broker/owner of Coldwell Banker Success. “The impact of the university’s research and growth of bio-tech companies has translated to good jobs for those seeking to live in a highly educated environment with many of the cultural opportunities of much larger cities.” 

J. Parrish, president of Coldwell Banker M.M. Parrish Realtors in Gainesville, Fla., notes that the town’s ties to the University of Florida are parallel to the beauty of the area. “Situated in the heart of beautiful north central Florida midway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Gainesville’s carefully preserved nature basks in beautiful sunshine,” Parrish said. “This is truly a lovely, unique place to live.”

Below are the most affordable and most expensive markets. Visit to view the full College HLR and for more details. An infographic comparing the top 10 most expensive markets based on number of students, tuition and city population is also available at

Most Affordable Markets – Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report

1)    Memphis, Tenn.  (University of Memphis) - $89,244
2)    Muncie, Ind. (Ball State University) - $107,346
3)    Ypsilanti, Mich.  (Eastern Michigan University) - $107,458
4)    Toledo, Ohio (University of Toledo) - $112,688
5)    Kalamazoo, Mich. (Western Michigan University) - $116,455
6)    Buffalo, N.Y. (University of Buffalo) - $123,212
7)    Las Vegas, Nev. (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) - $124,955
8)    Fort Worth, Texas (Texas Christian University) - $128,491
9)    Kent, Ohio (Kent State University) - $130,218
10)     Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue University) - $132,910

Most Expensive Markets – Coldwell Banker 2011 College Home Listing Report

1)    Westwood, Los Angeles, Calif. (University of California, Los Angeles) - $1,271,428
2)    Palo Alto, Calif.  (Stanford University) - $1,232,070
3)    Honolulu, Hawaii (University of Hawaii) - $779,419
4)    Los Angeles, Calif. (University of Southern California) - $733,473
5)    Boulder, Colo. (University of Colorado) - $731,617
6)    Berkeley, Calif. (University of California, Berkeley) - $695,520
7)    Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Boston College) - $669,617
8)    Seattle, Wash. (University of Washington) - $570,535
9)    San Jose, Calif. (San Jose State University) - $541,231
10)     Annapolis, Md. (United States Naval Academy) - $522,420

Methodology: College Home Listing Report
The Coldwell Banker College Home Listing Report includes residential real estate listings appearing on between August 2010 and August 2011 for real estate markets home to 117* of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools, which each had at least 10 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 three-bedroom, two-bathroom criteria. 

* Note: Tuscaloosa, AL, was not included out of respect for the damage caused by the April 27 tornado.   Bowling Green, Ohio, and Bloomington, Ind., did not meet minimum listing requirements to be included in the report.

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 approximately 83,000 sales agents working in approximately 3,100 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 create an iPad application and the first to fully harness the power of video in real estate listings, news and information through its Coldwell Banker On LocationSM 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.
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