For many of us (myself included), it wasn’t that long ago that we were college town aficionados, taking it the smell of fall leaves on our walks throughout campus and the unmatchable sounds and spirit of football game days. I still vividly remember grilling hotdogs and playing a round of bean bag toss in the hours before Saturday’s big game.
In celebration of all the college football festivities, Coldwell Banker Real Estate recently released its College Home Listing Report (College HLR), which ranks college towns across the country in home affordability. Now in its 6th year, the idea first struck Coldwell Banker CEO Jim Gillespie and Vice President, North American Communications David Siroty while stuck on a train. As told to Reuters, these two sports fans had five hours to kill and a lot of housing statistics to study, and they began to notice just how many college towns across the U.S. offered homeowners both stability and value.
This year, the College HLR ranks the average home listing price of three-bedroom, two-bathroom properties in more than 115 college towns home to schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision. (This is slightly different from previous studies which looked at a four-bedroom, two-bathroom sample sized home.)
The findings give an impressive nod to college towns; three-bedroom homes cost less than $200,000 on average in nearly two-thirds of the towns included in the College HLR and less than $150,000 in nearly one-quarter. If that isn’t a selling reason to buy, college towns also are often great places to purchase homes because of vibrant cultures, stable job markets and strong healthcare systems. For example a three-bedroom home in Champaign-Urbana, which is home to Gillespie’s alma mater, the University of Illinois, averages $178,310. Gillespie, who visits often for cultural and sporting events, himself took advantage of the affordability and purchased a town home a few years ago (read more about his take here, on the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter blog).
To launch the study on November 15, CooperKatz accompanied Jim throughout New York City for interviews with ABC News Now, Fox Business and CBS Radio, among others. Through the collaborative efforts of CooperKatz and Coldwell Banker, more than 70 placements were secured in just two weeks, including CNBC SportsBiz, Reuters, TIME, Curbed and CBS Moneywatch.
As a result, College HLR has generated an additional 4,622 visits to the Coldwell Banker HLR website, creating a 66 percent lift over the usual HLR traffic.
While the good old days of college may be a thing of the past, purchasing a home in a college town can help re-kindle both great memories and that ever-lasting school spirit.