The proximity of a property to a college or university can significantly affect its value, and this impact can vary based on the type and size of the educational institution. Here’s a detailed exploration of the subject:

Factors Influencing Property Values:

  1. Institution Size and Population Density
    • A study by computer scientists at the University of California, Riverside found that whether a college or hospital increases a home’s value depends on the institution’s size and the population of the ZIP code. Larger institutions in less populated ZIP codes tended to boost home prices and rents, though not always positively.
  1. Proximity and Institution Type
    • Research published in the Journal of Big Data analyzed data on a ZIP code level and individual home level, finding that larger, closer institutions generally yield higher prices. The study also found that rent correlations were higher with the distance from a university, especially private universities, and from smaller hospitals. This suggests that proximity to larger or private educational institutions might boost property values more significantly than proximity to smaller or public institutions.
  1. Economic Impact
    • The economic impact of colleges also contributes to local property values. For instance, private nonprofit colleges and universities in New York had an economic impact of $74.3 billion in 2013, indicating a significant influence on the local economy and, by extension, property values.
  1. Community and Regional Support
    • Community colleges play a critical role in supporting local regions and economies, which may affect property values positively due to the influx of students, staff, and the various activities associated with these institutions.
  1. Local Amenities and Opportunities
    • Universities and colleges are seen as “opportunity hubs” that encapsulate packaged amenities such as employment, education, transportation, entertainment, retail, cultural, and recreational opportunities, which could make the surrounding areas more desirable and thus, affect property values positively.

Variations Based on College Type

The impact of a college on property values may also vary based on whether the institution is a community college, a state university, or a private university. While specific data on this aspect was not found, it can be inferred that state and private universities, often being larger and having more resources, might have a more significant positive impact on property values compared to community colleges.


The effect of proximity to a college on property values is multifaceted and can be influenced by various factors including the size of the institution, the type of institution, and the general economic impact the institution has on the local area. Understanding these dynamics can provide valuable insights for homeowners, investors, and policy-makers alike.

Written by Down Money Media

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