Davenport tops Best Midwest Cities for Millennials

Davenport has been named the No. 1 best place for millennial homebuyers among the Midwest’s largest cities in a new list compiled by The Ascent, an affiliate of The Motley Fool that rates financial goods and services.

According to The Ascent, Iowa’s second largest city, Cedar Rapids, was No. 4 on the list, two spots above Des Moines. Occupying the No. 9 and No. 10 spots, respectively, were St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

No Illinois cities cracked the Top 10. The Ascent’s Top 10 Best Midwest Cities for Millennials in 2022 were:

  1. Davenport, Iowa
  2. Cleveland, Ohio
  3. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  4. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  5. Cincinnati, Ohio
  6. Des Moines, Iowa
  7. Columbus, Ohio
  8. Indianapolis, Indiana
  9. St. Louis, Missouri
  10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Davenport’s Best Midwest Cities for Millennials ranking is important, regional development leaders say, as the city and the Quad Cities region seeks to grow.

Davenport is a wonderful place to live, work and play, and we are pleased that the next generation of homebuyers agree,” said Sarah Ott, the city’s chief strategy officer. “Davenport’s commitment to being a safe, stable and welcoming community is highlighted by millennials choosing to call our community home.”

Jennifer Walker, vice president of marketing and sales for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce said, “It’s great when the QC is recognized in rankings, and we were thrilled to learn we’re the No. 1 best Midwest city for millennials. Let’s share this with our friends and family to brag about how great the QC is.”

Visit Quad Cities President and CEO Dave Herrell added how recognition and rankings are a valuable tool. “Not just because you need to keep score but it’s a leverage moment. A chance to use this to further our story and build the brand. It should always be a reminder that we need to continually push the public sector and private sector to do more. And we believe they are. More thought leadership. More collaboration. More partnership. More investment. And, more teamwork so that we are positioned to win.”

The Ascent’s homebuyer award was included among a number of other lists created by the rating agency in its 2022 Best of Awards. The Ascent said it also ranked the best banks, credit unions, homeowners insurance, car insurance, and mortgage lenders “in an effort to make our readers smarter, happier, and richer.”

In the housing category, millennials account for the largest group of homebuyers by generation, even though the majority of millennials are not yet homeowners. Other statistics regarding millennials, according to the Sept. 17, 2021, post by The Ascent researcher Jack Caporal, include: 

  • 37% of homebuyers in 2020 were millennials, more than any other generation.
  • Millennials were responsible for 53% of new primary home mortgages in April 2020.
  • Almost half of older millennials are buying homes worth $300,000 or more – catching up to older generations.
  • Despite being the largest generation by population, only 17% of homeowners are millennials.
  • 42% of millennials were homeowners at age 30, compared to 48% of Gen X and 51% of baby boomers at the same age.

With millennials entering the typical age range for first-time homebuyers, The Ascent decided to evaluate the largest cities in the Midwest and ranked the Top 10. To calculate a city’s average score, it looked at social equity factors and added their homeowners insurance score, home price score, car insurance score, and cost of living score to arrive at a total score. The social equity component included neighborliness, sustainability, labor and pay, public transit and health care costs, according to the site.

“While Davenport falls short when it comes to public transit, it has below-average healthcare and childcare costs, as well as excellent recreational and cultural amenities,” the ranking said. “Davenport is home to several major music festivals and has more than 50 public parks and miles of biking and walking paths. Davenport has one of the lower costs of living among Midwest cities — and the lowest average home price on our list.”

Among the data collected for Davenport were:

  • Average home price: $152,300
  • Median car insurance premium: $1,661 per year
  • Average home insurance premium: $1,502 per year

For comparison, housing costs were significantly lower than in second-place Cleveland where the average home price was $198,800. And the average home price was $319,000 in No. 10 Milwaukee.

In describing No. 4-ranked Cedar Rapids, The Ascent said “The city has a suburban feel and offers many green spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy, including over 100 miles of bike and pedestrian trails. Check out the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art to find the largest collection of work by Iowa-based artist Grant Wood (best known for painting American Gothic). Home prices in Cedar Rapids are a little higher than in Iowa overall (averaging $182,800), but residents pay less on average for both homeowners and car insurance.”

The Motley Fool is an Alexandria, Virginia-based private financial and investing advice company that includes stock picks and investment ideas. Its founders named it for the court jester in Shakespeare’s “As As You Like It,” who keeps his head despite speaking truth to power.

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