Buying, Renting

The US Landlord Index: College Towns & Cities

Just whereabouts, in the US, however, can bring you the best returns as an investor? Where should you be investing to get the best yield? Read on to find out.

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College towns are attractive to real estate investors; thanks in part to an evergreen demand from tenants, a fantastic array of local amenities and healthy rental incomes. With a new intake of freshmen each year alongside college graduates who inevitably decide to remain in the city where they studied, there’s rarely a worry as to where the next group of tenants will come from. Just whereabouts, in the US, however, can bring you the best returns as an investor? Where should you be investing to get the best yield?

The College Towns & Cities Giving You The Best Returns

We recently studied 150 towns and cities across the US, taking the 50 highest ranked from the small, midsize and large listings on WalletHub’s “2018’s Best College Towns & Cities in America” research.

We then collected our own data for the average purchase price and monthly rent of a 3-bedroom home in each location, sourced from listings here on

Below we reveal the college towns and cities that you should consider as a landlord to ensure the highest yield and, therefore, the highest return on your investment.

The Best College Towns & Cities For Landlords

When we studied 150 towns and cities in the US, looking at a combined ranking regardless of the population and size, Champaign, Illinois, home to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and Parkland College, comes out top with an average yield of more than 14%, closely followed by Rochester, NY at 13.49%.

Within the top 20 towns and cities based upon the highest average yield, Texas features the most, with McAllen, Corpus Christi, Killeen, Laredo, and El Paso all offering promising returns to landlords.

The Best Large College Towns & Cities For Landlords

Large towns and cities don’t necessarily give the highest yields, however, larger populations (300,000+) typically promise an easier search for tenants. Corpus Christi, Texas, home to Del Mar College and Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi, offers landlords an average yield of 10.52% with Baltimore, Maryland offering 10.16%.

Comparing states, Texas once again comes out top featuring 5 locations within the top 20; Corpus Christi, El Paso, Arlington, Fort Worth, and Houston.

The Best Midsize College Towns & Cities For Landlords

When studying midsize college towns and cities, those with a population of between 125,000 and 300,000, the average yield increases, with Rochester, New York taking the top spot at 13.49%. That’s 2.97% higher than Corpus Christi, the highest return among large cities. In fact, a further 3 midsize towns and cities also offer a higher yield than this: New Haven, Connecticut (12.14%); McAllen, Texas (11.16%); and Providence, Rhode Island (10.93%).

The Best Small College Towns & Cities For Landlords

Looking lastly at small towns and cities, those less than 125,000 population, we see the highest available yield; 14.02% in Champaign. Similarly to those midsize cities, we see two other locations which offer a better yield than those regarded as large cities: Urbana, Illinois (10.91%) and Statesboro, Georgia (10.50%).


As an investor, you inevitably want to ensure you’re investing in those locations which return the best yield, however that often comes at a strong consideration as to the demand of property in the town or city. Whilst larger cities offer slightly lower yields than those smaller and midsize cities, there’s often increased demand which still makes them an attractive option.

One thing which is for sure is that college towns and cities offer not only fantastic returns for landlords but also easier opportunities to find tenants.

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Cheria is an aspiring homeowner and the Content Marketing Coordinator for When she isn't working, she stays busy sewing, designing, and diving into all sorts of DIY projects.

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