Top College Towns for New Grads to Call Home

May 14, 2018

Some college grads are choosing to stay put in the town where they attended school. College towns can be attractive to younger generations. They tend to offer walkable areas, abundant restaurant and music scenes, and plenty of employment hubs. Homeownership also tends to be a strong investment since there’s plenty of ongoing demand from young and old buyers. 

"People go [to college towns] with the intention of pursuing a degree ... but find these places have lots of the advantages of much larger places," says Blake Gumprecht, author of The American College Town.

Realtor.com®’s research team scouted the 700 largest markets around the country to determine the best college towns for recent grads to call home. They factored in several factors, such as the percentage of college students, unemployment rates, home appreciation, and median incomes. (They only included markets with at least one four-year university with at least 10,000 undergraduates.)

The top college towns for recent grads to call home, according to realtor.com®, are:

1. Ames, Iowa

  • Median home list price: $265,200
  • Median household income: $56,800

2. State College, Pa.

  • Median home list price: $257,600
  • Median household income: $61,100

3. Lawrence, Kan.

  • Median home list price: $289,000
  • Median household income: $58,600

4. Blacksburg, Va.

  • Median home list price: $231,400
  • Median household income: $52,900

5. Ithaca, N.Y.

  • Median home list price: $250,700
  • Median household income: $61,70

6. Ann Arbor, Mich.

  • Median home list price: $334,100
  • Median household income: $69,200

7. Champaign, Ill.

  • Median home list price: $158,100
  • Median household income: $55,500

View the full list at realtor.com®.

Source: “The Best Affordable College Towns for Recent Grads—and Everyone Else,” realtor.com® (May 14, 2018)