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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Iowa does this very well. Families love the Hawkeye State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.
But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.
These are the places in Iowa that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.
After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Iowa for 2023.
So where is the most expensive place to live in Iowa? That would be Iowa City.
the 2017-2021 American Community Survey for the 79 places in Iowa with more than 5,000 people.
What's the most expensive place to live in Iowa? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Iowa City is the most expensive place to live in Iowa.
So hopefully Osceola (the cheapest place to live in Iowa) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.
And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Iowa and the most expensive cities in the country:
The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Iowa For 2023
The median income in Iowa City comes in at $51,925 and the median home value is $230,700 for 2023.
The median income in Ames comes in at $54,339 and the median home value is $222,900 for 2023.
The median income in Coralville comes in at $67,474 and the median home value is $241,200 for 2023.
The median income in Cedar Falls comes in at $66,838 and the median home value is $211,000 for 2023.
The median income in West Des Moines comes in at $76,564 and the median home value is $239,200 for 2023.
The median income in Spirit Lake comes in at $56,490 and the median home value is $169,600 for 2023.
The median income in Johnston comes in at $93,363 and the median home value is $289,600 for 2023.
The median income in Grinnell comes in at $49,045 and the median home value is $151,000 for 2023.
The median income in Spencer comes in at $45,313 and the median home value is $139,100 for 2023.
The median income in Pleasant Hill comes in at $76,371 and the median home value is $230,200 for 2023.
Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Hawkeye State For 2023
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:
- How much do money do I make?
- How much do I have spend to live there?
You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.
For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.
With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2017-2021 around incomes and costs. They are:
- Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
- Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
- Median Home Price
We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).
You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Iowa to figure out which is the most expensive.
What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.
So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 79 places in Iowa that have more than 5,000 people.
The place with the highest cost of living in Iowa according to the data is Iowa City. You can download the data here.
Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Iowa For 2023
Well there you have it, the places in Iowa that have the highest cost of living, with Iowa City ranking as the most expensive city in the Hawkeye State.
Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Iowa according to the data:
For more Iowa reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Iowa
- Cheapest Places To Live In Iowa
- Most Dangerous Cities In Iowa
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Iowa
- Safest Places In Iowa
- Worst Places To Live In Iowa
Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Iowa
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