The NYT prints a handy chart of the ten towns in America with the lowest ratio of subprime mortgages to total mortgages, and it ends up being rich San Francisco and nine classic college towns, such as Ithaca, NY, home to Cornell.
Besides the obvious (college professors are smarter than average), there's the construction boom on ritzy campuses these days, so even construction workers are doing well in college towns And there's typically no dirt shortage around college towns, such as Ames and Iowa City, home to the two big public Iowa universities, which tend to be located in the middle of nowhere in particular.
Contributing to reasonable home prices is the fact that many places on the list are economic oases, surrounded by areas where jobs are dwindling, which helps depress housing demand. Yet the college towns themselves are thriving: The peak years for American births since the baby boom were 1989 to 1993, and college enrollments are swelling as never before. Many communities on the list also have big medical centers or flourishing research operations.