Top 10 Real Estate College Towns

Investors and parents shopping for rentals for college students might realize a sharp increase in rents when students go off to college this fall. Rents on homes and Harvard Square apartments rose an average of 4% in the U.S. in the last year, and higher rents are expected. Realtor.com released its second annual round-up of the top 10 college towns to consider investing in real estate.

Topping the list are Boston, Massachusetts and Washington D.C., which offer the largest potential monthly profit for investors, despite having the highest median list prices of the group, according to Realtor.com.

Boston is home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Boston-Cambridge area offers plenty of opportunities for investors looking for student rentals. The median list price of $334,900 would produce an estimated mortgage payment of $1,240 and rental income of $3,084 monthly.

Pittsburgh provides great opportunities to landlords with 10 colleges in a 10-mile radius of Pittsburgh, including Carnegie Mellon University. The median price is the lowest in the nation at $140,000 as of July on the Realtor list of college towns.

In the nation’s capital, Georgetown University and colleges like American University and George Washington University attract thousands of students. The median list price of $395,000 would cost an estimated monthly mortgage payment of $1,460 with a 20% down payment. Average rents for the area would produce $2,637 providing a tidy monthly profit.

Hottest Summer Markets

City Median List Price
Boston, MA $334,900
Princeton, NJ $265,000
Chicago, IL $194,000
Washington,DC $395,000
Houston, TX $183,000
Philadelphia, PA $234,900
Atlanta, GA $174,900
Pittsburgh, PA $140,000
Providence, RI $259,000
Los Angeles, CA $358,000

Average rental prices of $1,122 for a home are still much higher than the estimated monthly mortgage payment of $520.

“There has always been a shortage of housing for students,” said Darla Jobkar of Northwood Realty Services in Pittsburgh. “For this reason, college and university real estate investments in this area over the years have been a huge success to both long term and short term investors.”