Back to School: Where is the Best College Rental Market?

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on August 17, 2011 under Housing Trends, Rental Market | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

prescreening tenants, tenant background checksReal estate investors have long been active in college towns for a number of reasons. Rentals are often short-term and dealing with younger students as tenants can be problematic, but when mom and dad co-sign the lease, they tend to pay the rent on time every month.

College enrollments are up, and on-campus housing is in short supply. Demand for rentals is high and vacancies low, so rents are generally healthy. All told, college students who need a place to live can be excellent prospective tenants—and rental property in a college town can be a great opportunity, if the terms and price are right for you. recently published a list of the best university cities for real estate investment. Here’s how their ratings shook out:

City Median List Price Average Rent, 2BR Average Rent, 3+BR
Boston $335,000 $3,122 $3,913
Nashville $189,000 $949 $1,020
Chicago $199,900 $1,780 $2,074
Washington DC $375,000 $3,086 $3,214
Houston $174,900 $1,218 $1,478
South Bend, IN $112,900 $790 $880
Atlanta $159,600 $1,236 $1,485
Baltimore $242,700 $1,443 $1,663
St. Louis, MO $163,945 $1,016 $1,283
Syracuse, NY $154,900 $838 $970
  • Boston has over 50 colleges and list prices have dropped nearly 3% since last June. Rents are on the rise.
  • Nashville’s average rents are higher than the average mortgage of $770.
  • Chicago’s median list price is down over 16% since last June.
  • Washington DC’s average mortgage for a median-priced home is around $1,530.
  • Houston has low-priced inventory and some top-ranked colleges. Average mortgage is about $710.
  • South Bend is home to Notre Dame and the average mortgage payment is around $990.
  • Atlanta’s median list price is down 13.68% from last June, and lower than the national median.
  • Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins University, with median prices down 7.72% since last year.
  • St. Louis, MO ‘s median list price is also lower than the national average, and mortgage payments average around $670.
  • Syracuse is home to Syracuse University, as well as several other colleges. Median prices are down and the average mortgage payment is around $630.

College towns have a ready-made pool of renters, and generally, the rent money is not a problem. Manage the property correctly, and you could have a successful investment for years to come.

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