Study finds Ball State makes Muncie nation's most affordable college town

Topic: Administrative

November 7, 2007

Muncie
Downtown Muncie

A new study finds that Ball State University's cutting-edge academic programs, picturesque buildings and tree-lined roads are located in the nation's most affordable college town.

According to the third annual Coldwell BankerCollege Home Price Comparison Index (HPCI), Muncie is most affordable — up from third place last year— because a typical family home would average about $150,000. The company defines the typical home as a single-family dwelling with 2,200 square feet, four bedrooms, two and one-half baths, family room and two-car garage.

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 about $1.7 million.

"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 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 confident that those partnerships will continue in the future, keeping Muncie high on the most affordable list for many years to come."

Nicely priced homes housing within walking distance or a short drive from campus make the community attractive, said Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Bureau of Business Research, which monitors economic trends within the Hoosier state.

"Ball State is already a fantastic educational opportunity," he said. "But if you combine the affordable and safe housing right next to the university with the rapidly revitalizing downtown, you cannot help but feel the emergence of one of the great college towns in America."

The Coldwell BankerCollege Market HPCI examinesthemarkets that are home to 119 Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) schools.

"College towns remain a popular living destination — where there are first time homeowners or alumni looking for great retirement spots," said 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."

Study highlights:

  • While nearly $1.5 million separates the most affordable community (Muncie) from the most expensive (Palo Alto, Calif.), both communities are benefiting from recently unveiled football stadiums. Ball State's Scheumann Stadium underwent a $13.7 million renovation that includes a new media center, club seating, entertainment suites, a family style seating area and FieldTurf, a synthetic grass surface similar to many NFL stadiums. The stadium also features Army's Tailgate Town,which includes live bands, giveaways and special exhibits. The 1-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 market list. All 10 of the most expensive college markets repeat on the 2007 list.
  • 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, include Boston College, University of Southern California and University of Hawaii.

  • The Mid-American Conference again ranks as the most affordable league with homes averaging $230,272 in its 12 markets. The Pacific Coast Conference 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.

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

Rank

School

Town, State

2007 Average 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

8 (tie)

Rice University

Houston, Texas

$169,736

10

Utah State University

Logan, Utah

$172,978


About Coldwell Banker

Since 1906, Coldwell Banker has been a full-service real estateprovider. The Coldwell Banker system has about 3,800 residential real estate offices with about 120,000 sales associates in 45 countries and territories. For more information, go to www.coldwellbanker.com.

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