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Real Estate: Investing in College Towns

By Suzanne Woolley - 2012-11-05T17:52:30Z

Photograph by PictureNet/Corbis

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Irvine, Calif.

School: University of California, Irvine
Students: 27,189
Median home value: $578,000

Irvine ranked fifth on Bloomberg Businessweek's list of America's 50 Best Cities. The city, located in a broad valley between the San Joaquin Hills and Loma Ridge, has a median income that tops $92,000, and about 64 percent of its population of 197,498 is educated at the college level. Enrollment at UC Irvine is up almost 3 percent over the past five years. It's another market where demand for housing outstrips supply, and the breakeven horizon is eight years and four months. The percentage of homes increasing in value over the past year is 52.4 percent; the national average is 45.4 percent.