updated: 11/6/2007 1:48:58 PM

[UPDATED] Muncie Tops Most Affordable College Town List

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

 Mike Lunsford, CEO of Coldwell Banker Lunsford in Muncie, says college towns are seeing retirees and alumni moving back to the communities where they went to school.

A Coldwell Banker study shows that Muncie is the nation's most affordable college town when it comes to home prices. Several other college towns in Indiana also made the list. The company says that the most expensive home prices for a college town are found in Palo Alto, Calif., which is home to Stanford University.

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In the Big Ten conference, Lafayette ranks first followed by Bloomington. Leading the Independents is South Bend, home to the University of Notre Dame.

Coldwell Banker Lunsford - Muncie Press Release

Muncie, IN (November 6, 2007) – College towns bring together academic minds, alumni, students and sports enthusiasts, especially in the fall when football fans flock to reconnect with the nostalgia of happy college years. The reasons they come – pageantry, culture, tradition and idyllic settings – are also the reason many want to stay and become homeowners in their college town. According to the third annual Coldwell Banker® College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI), while Ohio State may be leading the nation in the football polls, it is the Ball State Cardinals and Stanford Cardinal and their athletic conferences that hold the distinction of being located in the nation’s most affordable and expensive college towns, respectively.

The Coldwell Banker College HPCI finds that Muncie, Ind., home to Ball State University, ranks as the most affordable college town in the U.S., where a 2,220-foot, 4 bedroom 2 ˝ bath home with a family room and two car garage1, would average $150,000. For the third straight year Palo Alto, Calif., home to Stanford University, is the nation’s most expensive college town, where a similar home would cost $1,677,000.

The Coldwell Banker College Market HPCI specifically examines the markets that are home to 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) schools. Additional information about the original HPCI study, which ranked more than 300 markets across the United States and Puerto Rico in affordability for the same 2,200 square-foot subject home, is available at www.coldwellbanker.com.

Mike Lunsford, CEO of Coldwell Banker Lunsford real estate firm in Muncie, IN commented, “Our #1 ranking is another good arrow in put in our quiver as we go hunting for industry and new business investment. Being located in the home of a top-ranked university is also an economic development asset. We have a lot of factors in our favor here in East Central Indiana.”

“All Muncie residents, including Ball State employees, take pride in the city’s distinction as the nation’s most affordable college town,” said Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora. “The university has a long tradition of working together with the city to promote economic and community development. These projects strengthen our economy, helping to make Muncie a wonderful place to live. I’m confidant that those partnerships will continue in the future, hopefully keeping Muncie high on the most affordable list for many years to come.”

E. Roy Budd, Executive of Energize-ECI, Inc., regional economic development partnership,

Comments, “The moderate cost of housing in Muncie with the quality of life enjoyed by residing in a college town makes Muncie a very nice place in which to live. Muncie is in the midst of transition -moving away from a manufacturing economy to one of technology, science and service – and the affordable housing market will help facilitate this transition. I believe that if people knew more about the area, they would already be here.”

“College towns remain a popular living destination – whether they are first time homeowners or alumni looking for great retirement spots,” says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “School spirit draws many alumni back to their alma mater and for others, continuing their education, pursuing jobs, enjoying cultural activities and following college sports make these communities ideal homes.”

Gillespie, a 1968 University of Illinois graduate and avid Illini fan, also points out that the survey can be a guide for parents interested in buying homes for their college-aged sons and daughters. “Real estate professionals have been doing this for years,” Gillespie says. “Once their child is able to live off-campus, they do so in the family-owned home with classmates paying rent as roommates. Over time, the home appreciates in value and the family can keep it or sell it with the proceeds going toward the college payments.”

Source: Coldwell Banker Lunsford - Muncie

Coldwell Banker Press Release

PARSIPPANY, N.J.--College towns bring together academic minds, alumni, students and sports enthusiasts, especially in the fall when football fans flock to reconnect with the nostalgia of happy college years. The reasons they come – pageantry, culture, tradition and idyllic settings – are also the reason many want to stay and become homeowners in their college town. According to the third annual Coldwell Banker® College Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI), while Ohio State may be leading the nation in the football polls, it is the Ball State Cardinals and Stanford Cardinal and their athletic conferences that hold the distinction of being located in the nation’s most affordable and expensive college towns, respectively.

The Coldwell Banker College HPCI finds that Muncie, Ind., home to Ball State University, ranks as the most affordable college town in the U.S., where a 2,220-foot, 4 bedroom 2 ˝ bath home with a family room and two car garage1, would average $150,000. For the third straight year Palo Alto, Calif., home to Stanford University, is the nation’s most expensive college town, where a similar home would cost $1,677,000.

The Coldwell Banker College Market HPCI specifically examines the markets that are home to 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) schools. Additional information about the original HPCI study, which ranked more than 300 markets across the United States and Puerto Rico in affordability for the same 2,200 square-foot subject home, is available at www.coldwellbanker.com.

“College towns remain a popular living destination – whether they are first time homeowners or alumni looking for great retirement spots,” says Jim Gillespie, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “School spirit draws many alumni back to their alma mater and for others, continuing their education, pursuing jobs, enjoying cultural activities and following college sports make these communities ideal homes.”

Gillespie, a 1968 University of Illinois graduate and avid Illini fan, also points out that the survey can be a guide for parents interested in buying homes for their college-aged sons and daughters. “Real estate professionals have been doing this for years,” Gillespie says. “Once their child is able to live off-campus, they do so in the family-owned home with classmates paying rent as roommates. Over time, the home appreciates in value and the family can keep it or sell it with the proceeds going toward the college payments.”

Coldwell Banker Ties to College Football

Kevin Moen, a sales manager with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., scored one of the most dramatic touchdowns in college football history 25 years ago on Nov. 20, 1982. After Stanford took a 20-19 lead with a field goal, leaving four seconds on the clock, Moen, then a safety for the University of California, caught the ensuing kickoff and began a wild, lateral-filled scramble that culminated with Moen eventually getting the ball back to score the winning touchdown as time ran out. Moen covered the final 25 yards by navigating through members of the Stanford band, which came out onto the field to celebrate what they thought was a Cardinal win. Moen is best remembered for barreling over Stanford trombone player Gary Tyrrell in the end zone as he celebrated the miraculous play. Moen will be featured on the Versus network during a 25th anniversary show on November 24 at 6 p.m. (Eastern), a week prior to when Stanford and Cal renew their rivalry.

2007 Coldwell Banker College HPCI – Highlights & Interesting Facts

More than $1.5 million separates the Eastern Indiana town of Muncie ($150,000) from the Silicon Valley community of Palo Alto ($1,677,000).

Coincidentally, both Muncie and Palo Alto have benefited from recently renovated or newly constructed football stadiums. Ball State’s renovated Scheumann Stadium features Arby’s Tailgate Town, which includes live bands, giveaways and special exhibits. One-year-old, state-of-the-art Stanford Stadium seats 50,000.
Oklahoma State University and the University of Toledo entered the top 10 most affordable markets list. All 10 of the most expensive college markets repeat on the 2007 list.

Three teams in the top 25 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings hail from towns in the Coldwell Banker College HPCI top 10 most expensive college markets list – Boston College, University of Southern California and University of Hawaii.

The Mid-American Conference again ranks as the most affordable league with 2,200 square-foot, 4 bedroom, 2 ˝ bath homes averaging $230,272 in its 12 markets. The PAC-10 tips the scales as the most expensive conference overall for the third straight year, with an average home price of $737,040.

Columbus, Ohio, home to current BCS leader Ohio State, ranks 51st on the home price affordability list for studied homes with an average home price of $238,170. Gainesville, Fla., home to the defending BCS champion University of Florida Gators, is rated 79th at $305,750. (Detailed charts for each conference are included below).

The top 10 most affordable college markets for home prices in 2007 are:

Rank School Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

1 Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $150,000
2 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas $151,250
3 University of Tulsa Tulsa, Okla. $153,750
4 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla. $162,000
5 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas $163,250
6 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $163, 278
7 University of Louisiana Monroe Monroe, La. $164,499
8 University of Houston Houston, Texas $169,736
Rice University Houston, Texas $169,736
10 Utah State University Logan, Utah $172,978

The top 10 most expensive college markets for home prices in 2007 are:

Rank School Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

1 Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. $1,677,000
2 Boston College Chestnut Hill, Ma. $1,381,250
3 University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
5 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. $1,287,500
6 San Jose State University San Jose, Calif. $1,145,000
7 University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii $843,750
8 Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. $708,000
9 Florida International University Miami, Fla. $638,333
University of Miami Miami, Fla. $638, 333

The following chart ranks Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) college football conferences by affordability:

Rank School 2007 Avg. Price
1 Mid-American Conference $230,272
2 Conference USA $242,286
3 Southeastern Conference $246,123
4 Big 12 Conference $247,552
5 Sun Belt Conference $297,886
6 Big Ten Conference $300,749
7 Big East Conference $321,561
8 Mountain West Conference $324,189
9 Independents $344,916
10 Atlantic Coast Conference $424,784
11 Western Athletic Conference $441,263
12 Pac-10 Conference $737,040

The following charts rank Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) college football conferences and independent schools. The most affordable conference is listed at the top and most expensive at the bottom. Each school in the conference is listed with the most affordable at top:

Mid American Conference (1) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Ball State University Muncie, Ind. $150,000
University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $163,278
University of Akron Akron, Ohio $183,100
Central Michigan University Mt. Pleasant, Mich. $192,075
Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, Mich. $210,750
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Mich. $228,450
Northern Illinois University DeKalb, Ill. $233,000
Ohio University Athens, Ohio $234,600
University at Buffalo Buffalo, N.Y. $248,575
Miami University Oxford, Ohio $259,633
Kent State University Kent, Ohio $268,200
Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, Ohio $391,600
Conference Average Price $230,272

Conference USA (2) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

University of Tulsa Tulsa, Okla. $153,750
University of Houston Houston, Texas $169,736
Rice University Houston, Texas $169,736
Marshall University Huntington, W. Va. $185,000
University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Miss. $186,800
University of Memphis Memphis, Tenn. $191,936
University of Texas El Paso El Paso, Texas $229,306
East Carolina University Greenville, N.C. $297,917
Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas $302,198
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Ala. $303,181
Tulane University New Orleans, La. $310,875
University of Central Florida Orlando, Fla. $407,000
Conference Average Price $242,286
Southeastern Conference (3) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price
University of South Carolina Columbia, S.C. $198,967
University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tenn. $202,450
Mississippi State University Starkville, Miss. $220,767
University of Kentucky Lexington, Ky. $234,500
Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tenn. $238,333
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Ala. $241,333
University of Georgia Athens, Ga. $248,633
Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, La. $250,444
University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. $252,950
University of Mississippi Oxford, Miss. $276,750
Auburn University Auburn, Ala. $282,600
University of Florida Gainesville, Fla. $305,750
Conference Average Price $246,123

Big 12 Conference (4) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Okla. $162,000
Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas $163,250
Baylor University Waco, Texas $180,188
University of Oklahoma Norman, Okla. $180,887
Texas A&M University College Station, Texas $209,044
Iowa State University Ames, Iowa $209,967
University of Missouri Columbia, Mo. $217,500
University of Kansas Lawrence, Kan. $232,300
University of Texas Austin, Texas $243,250
Kansas State University Manhattan, Kan. $265,000
University of Nebraska Lincoln, Neb. $292,233
University of Colorado Boulder, Colo. $615,000
Conference Average Price $247,552

Sun Belt Conference (5) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, La. $164,499
University of North Texas Denton, Texas $196,000
Arkansas State University Jonesboro, Ark. $204,000
Troy University Troy, Ala. $214,167
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, La. $232,467
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, Tenn. $261,560
Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, Fla. $531,250
Florida International University Miami, Fla. $638,333
Conference Average Price $297,886

Big Ten Conference (6) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Purdue University Lafayette, Ind. $184,333
University of Indiana Bloomington, Ind. $198,000
University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa $212,855
University of Illinois Champaign, Ill. $236,917
Michigan State University East Lansing, Mich. $238,000
Ohio State University Columbus, Ohio $238,170
University of Wisconsin Madison, Wis. $264,950
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. $303,750
Penn State University State College, Pa. $307,500
University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minn. $415,767
Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. $708,000
Conference Average Price $300,749

Big East Conference (7) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Syracuse University Syracuse, N.Y. $214,725
University of Louisville Louisville, Ky. $238,000
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio $250,530
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pa. $263,964
West Virginia University Morgantown, W.Va. $323,000
University of Connecticut Storrs, Conn. $339,600
University of South Florida Tampa, Fla. $350,000
Rutgers University New Brunswick, N.J. $402,567
Conference Average Price $321,561

Mountain West Conference (8) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas $151,250
United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, Colo. $197,500
Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colo. $236,100
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. $289,000
University of New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. $317,319
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nev. $362,188
Brigham Young University Provo, Utah $363,975
University of Utah Salt Lake City, Utah $408,125
San Diego State University San Diego, Calif. $618,750
Conference Average Price $324,189

Independents (9) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

University of Notre Dame South Bend, Ind. $180,500
United States Military Academy West Point, N.Y. $404,833
Temple University Philadelphia, Pa. $515,225
United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Md. $600,750
Average Price $344,916

Atlantic Coast Conference (10) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Clemson University Clemson, S.C. $219,600
Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, N.C. $228,900
Duke University Durham, N.C. $229,900
North Carolina State University Raleigh, N.C. $238,000
Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, Va. $292,250
Georgia Tech University Atlanta, Ga. $324,000
Florida State University Tallahassee, Fla. $354,538
University of Virginia Charlottesville, Va. $374,080
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C. $387,808
University of Maryland College Park, Md. $428,750
University of Miami Miami, Fla. $638,333
Boston College Boston, Mass. $1,381,250
Conference Average Price $424,784

Western Athletic Conference (11) Town, State 2007 Avg. Price

Utah State University Logan, Utah $172,978
New Mexico State University Las Cruces, N.M. $220,000
Louisiana Tech University Ruston, La. $221,712
Boise State University Boise, Idaho $250,400
University of Idaho Moscow, Idaho $298,000
Fresno State University Fresno, Calif. $381,333
University of Nevada Reno, Nev. $384,500
University of Hawaii Honolulu, Hawaii $843,750
San Jose State University San Jose, Calif. $1,145,000
Conference Average Price $441,263

PAC-10 Conference (12) Town, State 2007 Price

Washington State University Pullman, Wash. $285,539
University of Arizona Tucson, Ariz. $286,667
Oregon State University Corvallis, Ore. $333,000
University of Oregon Eugene, Ore. $361,982
Arizona State University Tempe, Ariz. $383,062
University of Washington Seattle, Wash. $555,839
University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, Calif. $1,287,500
University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif. $1,306,333
Stanford University Palo Alto, Calif. $1,677,000
Conference Average Price $737,040

Methodology – 2007 Coldwell Banker® College Market Home Price Comparison Index:

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC conducted its College Home Price Comparison Index study by compiling survey data from Coldwell Banker® offices throughout the United States. Companies within the Coldwell Banker system submitted data based on the average sales price of sold listings in 2007 or a comparative market analysis of homes previously sold. Because no Coldwell Banker offices serve Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Stillwater, Okla.; Lincoln, Neb.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Morgantown, W. Va., Bowling Green, Ohio; Athens, Ohio; Laramie, Wyo.; Troy, Ala.; and Ames, Iowa, the average prices reflected in the study were from local Multiple Listing Service data collected on Oct. 2, 2007.

1 The criteria for the College HPCI subject home is: single-family dwelling, 2,200 square feet (approximately), four bedrooms, two and one-half baths, family room (or equivalent) and two-car garage in neighborhoods/zip codes within a market that is typical for corporate middle-management transferees.

About Coldwell Banker®

Since 1906, the Coldwell Banker® organization has been a premier full-service real estate provider. In 2007, Franchise Times magazine’s prestigious Top 200 issue ranked the Coldwell Banker system number one in real estate for the eighth straight year and 12th among all franchisors. The Coldwell Banker System has approximately 3,800 residential real estate offices and more than 120,000 sales associates in 45 countries and territories. The Coldwell Banker System is a leader in the industry in residential and commercial real estate, and in niche markets such as resort, new home and luxury property through its Coldwell Banker Previews International® division. It is a pioneer in consumer services with its Coldwell Banker Concierge® Service Program and award-winning Web site, www.coldwellbanker.com. Coldwell Banker Mortgage is one of the largest telephone/web based lenders in the country. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation, a global provider of real estate and relocations services. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Source: Coldwell Banker

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