On & Off-Campus Housing Costs in Big College Towns

Recently we posted about college towns with the best returns on investment.  If you’ve invested in student housing, your property(s) probably just come back to life as students recently returned to big cities & small towns all across the country.  These investments can be very lucrative as well as a form of house-hacking – especially if you have (or soon will have) a son or daughter living there as a student.  However, a new report from Trulia suggests that not all “big” college towns offer an advantage for students living off-campus, in privately-owned housing, and says there are some locales where the opposite is true;  that it’s more cost-efficient to live on campus.  Trulia looked at data from colleges/universities in some of the 48 biggest college towns across the country and compared what students pay for on-campus housing with what they would pay if they split a two-bedroom apartment with a roommate in the off-campus market.  For what it’s worth…

“The results were nothing short of surprising. While rents are rising, so is the price of living on campus. In 28 of the 48 places we looked at, it was either the same price or cheaper to be off-campus…”  Said Trulia economist Felipe Chacon.



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Top 40 Places Young People Are Moving

Trying to anticipate the next cool place millennials will flock to can be like predicting the weather.  However, that being said, the folks over at 24/7 Wall St. crunched numbers from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to come up with the 40 top places where young people are moving.  After looking at migration to U.S. counties, they ranked them based on the number of 25 to 34-year-olds who moved there from a different county in 2016 as a share of the total county population.  Indeed…



“The primary reason people move is for work. Many young people move for jobs in service-providing industries…”

“Young people also tend to move to more urban areas. Of the 40 counties on this list, 36 are located in commuting zones classified as metropolitan…”

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2017 American Housing Survey Date Released


Earlier this month the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released new housing data from the 2017 American Housing Survey (AHS).  The release included national-level data and data for the 15 largest metropolitan areas.  The AHS is conducted biennially and is the provides current & important data on a wide range of housing subjects, such as physical condition of the nation’s housing stock, quality indicators, and home improvement activities.  This data is extremely useful when you drill down into it.

Click here to access the AHS data.

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Home Flipping Returns Lowest Since 2014

In their most recent U.S. Home Flipping Report, ATTOM Data Solutions is reporting that homes flipped in the second quarter of 2018 yielded an average gross return on investment of 44.3%, down from 47.8% in the first quarter and down from 50%  in Q2 2017.  The second quarter number also represents the lowest average gross flipping ROI since Q3 2014.  As for the overall numbers, there were 48,768 U.S. single family homes & condos flipped in the second quarter of 2018, representing 5.2% of all sales.  In addition, 32% of flips were distressed sales, down from a peak of 68% in Q1 2010.

“Fewer distressed sales are limiting the ability of home flippers to find deep discounts even while rising interest rates are shrinking the pool of potential buyers for flipped homes,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.

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Cost of Renting vs. Owning in Every State

This is a hot topic that we’ve covered and lately we’ve seen several “rent vs. buy” stories from various media outlets.  The bottom line;  it’s all about the market conditions of any particular location.  To that end, the folks over at howmuch.net took a look at data from Zillow and GoBankingRates to provide and intuitive look at the geography of renting vs. owning.  Their conclusion? Renting is more expensive on average in 40 out of 50 states…Indeed…but there are a lot of moving parts involved in making that decision.  Be sure to look at all the data.

Here are the ten states where it makes the least sense to rent a home (figure shown is the difference):

1. New York: -$1,471

2. Maine: -$675

3. Rhode Island: -$656

4. Massachusetts: -$586

5. Illinois: -$471

6. New Jersey: -$437

7. Florida: -$404

8. Vermont: -$379

9. Pennsylvania: -$368

10. Ohio: -$296

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Labor and Subcontractor Shortages Becoming Widespread

The NAHB’s Eye on Housing is reporting that the shortage of labor and subcontractors reached a critical point in July with the shortage of rough carpentry contractors being experienced by 90% of builders surveyed.  According to the results, “shortages of labor directly employed by builders were at least fairly widespread for each of the 15 occupations, ranging from a low of 47 percent for building maintenance managers to a high of 83 percent for rough carpenters.”  The survey was conducted in July for the NAHB/Well Fargo Housing Market Index.

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8 Unique Ways to Find Distressed Properties

FortuneBuilders nailed it when they said that distressed properties serve as the source of some of the best deals to be had on the market, and can be found in many different forms.  Indeed….Today’s infographic from FB illustrates eight unique ways to find distressed properties….Happy Friday!!!

Hat Tip to FortuneBuilders.


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Total U.S. Construction Spending Up 5.8% from 2017

The U.S. government is reporting that total construction spending in July was estimated at $1,315.4 billion,which is 0.1% higher than June’s revised estimate and 5.8% higher than July, 2017.  Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $560.1 billion in July, 0.6% higher than June’s revised estimate.

Click here to read the full report on Census.gov.


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ABODO Says Rents Still Trending Up

National apartment listing site ABODO recently reported that the median nationwide rent price for one-bedroom units in September slightly rose 0.86% to $1,022 (still down year to date) with two-bedroom units coming in at $1,294 (up 3.19% year to date).  ABODO uses over 1 million listings across the United States to calculate the median 1-bedroom rent price by city, state, and nation and then track the month-over-month percentage change. To avoid small sample sizes, they restrict their analysis to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.

“…As the Fed continues to raise interest rates, however, and the economy continues to heat up; while unemployment is low, and the single-family home shortage shows no signs of abatement, it follows that both one and two-bedroom unit prices will continue, on average, to rise.”

Click here to read the full report on ABODO.com.

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College Towns & Cities with the Best Returns

We’ve had a lot of posts about the lucrative student housing market and its “evergreen” potential. To that end,  a recent report from Homes.com looked at 150 college towns from across the nation to come up with their “2018’s Best College Towns & Cities in America.”  In it, they examined data about the average purchase price and monthly rent of a 3-bedroom home in each location, sourced from listings on Homes.com.  Then, they revealed the college towns and cities they think you should consider as a landlord to ensure the highest yield and return on your investment.  If you already own or are thinking about entering this segment of the market, this report is worth a look.

Click here to read the full report.

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