For real estate buyers who have the cash and credit to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates, there is one market type that tends to be more resilient than others: the college town.

Established, big-name universities, with their steady and ever-replenishing supplies of new students, faculty and administrators, virtually guarantee tenants and future buyers. Additionally, more retirees are choosing to move to college towns for the cultural amenities. Of course, the downsides for home buyers, particularly investors, are that renting in college towns is a somewhat seasonal business, with a summer decline, and there's always the threat of keg-party damage.

Foreclosure sales data was compiled by RealtyTrac's Foreclosure News Report to determine the top 10 college towns for buying bank-owned homes in the first half of 2011. The rankings were based on average discount on a foreclosure purchase and the percentage of sales that were foreclosures.


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