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Kalamazoo listed among nation's most affordable college towns

by Jeanne Baron

Dec. 6, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of Kalamazoo, Mich.
Kalamazoo ranks fifth in home affordability among nation's college towns.
KALAMAZOO--The city of Kalamazoo ranks No. 5 in home affordability among the nation's college towns, according to the 2011 College Home Listing Report.

The report, released Nov. 15 by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, examined a total of 117 markets in which NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools are located.

The Kalamazoo and Western Michigan University market came in fifth with an average price of $116,455. The top spot went to Memphis, Tenn., and the University of Memphis, where the average home price was $89,244.

Also coming in ahead of Kalamazoo in terms of affordability were the three Midwestern cities of Muncie, Ind., home to Ball State University; Ypsilanti, Mich., home to Eastern Michigan University; and Toledo, Ohio, home to the University of Toledo.

Towns that feature colleges and universities frequently number among the most desirable places to live in the United States.

Higher education institutions like WMU help build dynamic communities by contributing to local job stability, conducting research that spurs economic development and attracting employers in need of a highly talented labor pool. They also enrich the quality of life in their communities by providing a wide range of educational opportunities and a wealth of cultural and athletic events.

The 2011 College Home Listing Report found that three-bedroom homes cost less than $200,000 on average in nearly two-thirds of the college towns examined and less than $150,000 in nearly one-quarter of the towns.

To be included in the report, markets had to have had at least 10 sales listings for three-bedroom, two-bathroom properties on between August 2010 and 2011. The market data collected encompassed property listings from Coldwell Banker affiliates as well as listings from other Realogy franchise brands that fit the same three-bedroom, two-bathroom criteria.

2011 College Home Listing Report

Most affordable markets

Rank Market College Average listing price
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 Western Michigan University $116,455
6 Buffalo, N.Y. University of Buffalo $123,212
7 Las Vegas 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

Least affordable markets

Rank Market College Average listing price
1 Westwood, Los Angeles University of California, Los Angeles $1,271,428
2 Palo Alto, Calif. Stanford University $1,232,070
3 Honolulu University of Hawaii $779,419
4 Los Angeles 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 University of Washington $570,535
9 San Jose, Calif. San Jose State University $541,231
10 Annapolis, Md. United States Naval Academy $522,420

For the full ranking as well as related information, visit Coldwell Banker online.

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Kalamazoo makes top 25 best cities for college grads | June 2, 2011