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College Town Real Estate Displays Immunity To Foreclosure Crisis

By Housing Predictor

There's simply no doubt about it. Burlington, Vt., and neighboring South Burlington are the best housing market in America rated  by the lowest number of foreclosures in the nation, and there's not any doubt why.


All bottom seven communities on the 2009 RealtyTrac foreclosure list are college towns, where local economies have been boosted by the rush to higher education. Burlington only saw 45 residential properties tagged with foreclosure notices in 2009, and not even all of them went to foreclosure. Only eight experienced the worst case scenario.


College communities typically do better in tough economic times as their local economies profit by growing enrollment due to high unemployment, getting more students to go after college degrees. Burlington is home to the University of Vermont.


Utica, N.Y., where Utica College makes its home, placed second to last, making it the second best market in the country in terms of fewest foreclosures. The University of Nebraska is in Lincoln, placing 201 on the list. The University of Charleston is in Charleston, W.V., (No. 200) and the community also houses several other institutions of higher learning. Syracuse, N.Y., (No. 199) is home to Syracuse University and more schools. Fayetteville, N.C., (No. 198) has Fayetteville State College and six others.


“Because of the presence of the university it really moderates what happens with all sectors of the local economy,” according to  David Gwin, director of economic development for College Station, Texas, which placed seventh to last on the annual list.

College Station is home to Texas A&M University and a bevy of other higher education institutions. Just 12 foreclosures were reported in College Station and neighboring Bryan in 2009.


On the other extreme, Las Vegas, Nev., claimed the worst foreclosure market in the country with one out of eight homes getting foreclosure notices during the year.