Real Estate: Investing in College Towns

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

Photograph by Kevin Clark/The Register-Guard/AP Photo

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Eugene, Oregon

School: University of Oregon
Students: 24,936
Median home value: $193,500

Eugene, hometown of Merry Prankster Ken Kesey, is an accepting, community-minded place. Outdoorsy types can bike, climb, raft or kayak. This fall's enrollment at University of Oregon is expected to be between 24,600 and 24,700, the highest ever, according to the school, and is projected to peak within a few years at 25,150. The ratio of students to on-campus housing units is about 5.8 to 1, and will likely go up slightly as enrollment rises, though the university has some construction projects under way. Monthly payments for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.5 percent would be $869, below Zillow's Rent Index of $1,201, which is down 2.8 percent from a year earlier. The breakeven horizon is three years, nine months.