by Max Brantley
Best Places to Live 2016 Ranking: 3
Metro Population: 483,396
Median Home Price: $177,200
Average Household Salary: $42,410
Income Spent on Living Expenses: 23.86 percent
Like Des Moines, the most affordable place to live is also seeing a steady influx of new residents, as Fayetteville grew by 4.76 percent due to net migration between 2010 and 2014. As the fastest growing city in Arkansas, Fayetteville has a higher median home price than other metro areas on the list while still lower than the national average. But with low rent and cost of utilities, the average individual spends less than 24 percent of their income on housing costs.
Best Places to Live 2016 Ranking: 32Is it only coincidence that these high-ranking Arkansas cities tend to depart from the state trend on political leanings?
Metro Population: 716,849
Median Home Price: $147,750
Average Household Salary: $42,020
Income Spent on Living Expenses: 27.21 percent
Little Rock scores highest in the overall Best Places to Live ranking for value, but it also does fairly well in categories like Desirability, Job Market and Net Migration. Area residents pay only about 27 percent of their average annual income toward living expenses. The real estate market in the capital of Arkansas remains much lower than the national median home price of $218,867, and the gap continues to widen, with Little Rock's median home price at just $147,750.