All I can say is that the amount that I pay in rent for my Cornell student, Ithaca should be an investor's paradise. The students do generally rent on a 10 month basis, however rents are rather high. There are houses in collegetown with 6 or 7 bedrooms that rent for around $5,000 a month. I did not buy a home, nor did any of my son's friends parents, however I am sure that there are people who do that, as they do in any college town.
There are some homes that have been on the market in Ithaca for a long time, at relatively high prices, but no different than any other area. My sister lives in Cayuga Heights, and there is a house around the corner from her that has been on the market for a few years, but some sellers just get stubborn.