Fayetteville ranked as top 10 place to live for eighth straight year

(Flyer photo/Todd Gill)

Another year, another top 10 ranking for Fayetteville in U.S. News & World Report‘s annual “Best Places to Live” list.

Fayetteville ranked No. 10 in this year’s rankings released this week, down a few spots from the No. 7 ranking last year. The city was named No. 3 in 2016, No. 5 in both 2017 and 2018, No. 4 in 2019, No. 8 in 2020, and No. 4 in 2021.

Fayetteville’s overall score of 6.7 remained the same as last year, with the quality of life index ticking up to 6.8 from 6.7 last year, and the value score edging down to 8.3 from 7.8 last year.

Recent increase in housing prices have likely affected that value ranking. Despite those increases, however, Fayetteville still remains attractive when compared to other markets when considering cost of living. According to the report, the average cost of a home in Fayetteville is $300,740, still less than the national average of $365,616.

“Drawn to jobs at Tyson, Walmart and Walmart’s vendor community, newcomers have flooded the area over the past several years, pushing housing prices up and enticing real estate developers to build,” the report read. “While real estate in Fayetteville is some of the most expensive in Arkansas, Fayetteville’s median home sale price is lower than in other real estate markets in the U.S.”

The list ranks the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on affordability, desirability and quality of life.

“Metro areas in the rankings are evaluated using data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. News’ own internal resources,” reads the page on the methodology for the rankings. “This data was categorized into the four indexes listed below and evaluated using a methodology determined by Americans’ preferences. The percent weighting for each index follows the answers from a March 2023 public survey in which people from across the country voted for what they believed was the most important factor to consider when choosing where to live.”

Fayetteville also ranked 13th in Cheapest Places to Live, 15th in Fastest Growing Places, and 90th on the Best Places to Retire lists by U.S. News & World Report.

Amenities and large employers around the region were once again cited as what makes Fayetteville so attractive.

“Located in a region experiencing drastic growth, Fayetteville – together with Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale – has transformed from a small town to a center of higher education, culture, commerce and entrepreneurialism,” the report said again. “The area known as Northwest Arkansas is the birthplace of Walmart, the headquarters of Tyson Foods and the home of the University of Arkansas, the flagship campus of the U of A system.”

Green Bay, Wisconsin edged out Huntsville, Alabama to top the list this year. Colorado Springs, Colorado – ranked second last year – fell seven spots to No. 9 on this year’s list.

Fayetteville wasn’t the only metro in the state of Arkansas to make the top 150 list. Little Rock came in ranked at No. 102. Around the region, Springfield, Missouri was ranked at No. 57, Kansas City was No. 73, and Tulsa was No. 101.

Read the full list at https://realestate.usnews.com/.

2023-2024 Best Places to Live

1. Green Bay, WI
2. Huntsville, AL
3. Raleigh & Durham, NC
4. Boulder, CO
5. Sarasota, FL
6. Naples, FL
7. Portland, ME
8. Charlotte, NC
9. Colorado Springs, CO
10. Fayetteville, AR