Des Moines metro rated fourth-best "bang for the buck" area compiled a list of the best “bang for the buck” cities in the U.S.:

To find the cities that offer the most bang for the buck, we looked at the country’s 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas–geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, for use in collecting statistics– across these measures: foreclosures as a percentage of home prices; vacancies; unemployment rates; a three-year job-growth forecast; a three-year home-price forecast; housing affordability; median real estate taxes; and median travel time to work.

The Des Moines/West Des Moines metro area ranked fourth out of 100:

With low unemployment, at 6%, few vacancies and a promising home price forecast, the real estate market shows fresh signs of robustness. And its home prices make it possible for budget-conscious home buyers to get in the door–it scores above average for home price affordability.

The Omaha/Council Bluffs area ranked first on the list, and also ranked first on the list of cities “best surviving the recession. “No other Iowa metros were large enough to be considered for this analysis.

Click here and scroll down for more details on the methodology used to assess unemployment and healthy housing markets. Click here for the list ranking all 100 most populous metro areas. If you’re feeling down now that snow has arrived in Iowa, consider how much more affordable life is here compared to most of the sun belt cities.

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  • Take that big cities!

    Just goes to show, fly-over country ain’t that bad.  In fact, I’d rather be in Iowa then a lot of other places right now, although there is that blizzard…

    • this is what I tell my friends

      from college and grad school. The quality of life here is excellent; housing is relatively affordable, traffic is not bad, public schools are generally ok.

      Interestingly, the latest Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register asked people whether Iowa was a good or bad place to be during a national economic recession, or whether things were probably about the same everywhere:

      Iowa is a good place to be during the recession, said 57 percent of poll respondents. Only 4 percent disagreed, and 38 percent believed it was about the same everywhere.

      I think that’s right. Not that you’ll ever hear it from a Republican.

  • We moved back in '07

    After two years in Minneapolis and another seven years on the Eastern seaboard.  I tell people that Des Moines is the Midwest’s best kept secret for young families.  Affordable cost of living, good schools, lots to do, and a low-stress lifestyle.  Best of all, there’s room to breathe here – a distinct change from our time out East.