Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Iowa is a state known for its friendly people, community, and beautiful landscapes. With charming cities like Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa offers a high quality of life at an affordable cost. The state’s median sale prices make it an attractive option for homebuyers, and there’s always something new to explore with various outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Whether you’re looking to settle down in a bustling city or a quieter town, this Redfin article will guide you through the biggest cities in Iowa.

1. Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 214,133
Median Sale Price: $203,000
Des Moines, IA homes for sale
Des Moines, IA houses for rent

Situated in the heart of Iowa, Des Moines seamlessly blends Midwestern charm with urban sophistication. Home to a thriving arts scene, diverse culinary offerings, and a dynamic downtown, residents enjoy a rich cultural experience. With annual events like the Des Moines Arts Festival and a commitment to green spaces, such as the Principal Riverwalk, living in Des Moines offers a balanced lifestyle.

2. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Population: 137,710
Median Sale Price: $189,950
Cedar Rapids, IA homes for sale
Cedar Rapids, IA houses for rent

Cedar Rapids has a rich industrial history along the Cedar River and a contemporary cultural scene. Known for its vibrant arts community, exemplified by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the NewBo Arts and Cultural District, residents enjoy diverse cultural experiences. The city’s dedication to community development, with events like the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the Czech Village NewBo Oktoberfest, adds a lively and engaging touch to the overall living experience in Cedar Rapids.

3. Davenport, Iowa

Population: 101,724
Median Sale Price: $181,000
Davenport, IA homes for sale
Davenport, IA houses for rent

Perched along the mighty Mississippi River, Davenport combines a historic riverfront charm with a lively and evolving urban atmosphere. Home to cultural gems such as the Figge Art Museum and the historic Village of East Davenport, residents experience various arts and heritage.

4. Sioux City, Iowa

Population: 85,797
Median Sale Price: $180,000
Sioux City, IA homes for sale
Sioux City, IA houses for rent

Known for its cultural diversity, exemplified by events like the Saturday in the Park music festival, Sioux City residents enjoy a tapestry of arts, music, and community engagement. With a scenic riverfront, a revitalized downtown, and a commitment to heritage preservation, living in Sioux City provides a unique and dynamic experience that reflects the city’s cultural vibrancy and connection to the Missouri River.

5. Iowa City, Iowa

Population: 74,828
Median Sale Price: $278,000
Iowa City, IA homes for sale
Iowa City, IA houses for rent

Iowa City stands as a city that seamlessly fuses academic excellence with cultural vibrancy. Home to the University of Iowa, residents benefit from a dynamic arts scene, highlighted by events like the Iowa Arts Festival and FilmScene screenings. The city’s historic downtown, charming neighborhoods, and strong community engagement contribute to a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment, making Iowa City an ideal destination.

6. West Des Moines, Iowa

Population: 68,723
Median Sale Price: $310,000
West Des Moines, IA homes for sale
West Des Moines, IA houses for rent

Known for its well-planned neighborhoods, premier shopping districts like Jordan Creek Town Center, and a diverse culinary scene, West Des Moines provides a high quality of life. With its commitment to green spaces, community events such as the West Des Moines Farmers’ Market, and a strong sense of civic pride, the city fosters a welcoming environment.

7. Ankeny, Iowa

Population: 67,887
Median Sale Price: $332,425
Ankeny, IA homes for sale
Ankeny, IA houses for rent

Ankeny, a city on the outskirts of Des Moines, embodies a perfect balance between a growing suburban landscape and a tight-knit community atmosphere. Characterized by well-planned neighborhoods, top-rated schools, and a flourishing local economy, Ankeny provides residents with a high quality of life.

8. Waterloo, Iowa

Population: 67,314
Median Sale Price: $159,000
Waterloo, IA homes for sale
Waterloo, IA houses for rent

Living in Waterloo blends industrial heritage with a sense of community resilience. Known for its cultural offerings like the Waterloo Center for the Arts and the annual My Waterloo Days festival, residents experience diverse entertainment. With a commitment to preserving its heritage, a scenic riverfront, and events that celebrate local talent, living in Waterloo provides a unique and dynamic experience that reflects the city’s cultural richness and community pride.

9. Ames, Iowa

Population: 66,427
Median Sale Price: $269,000
Ames, IA homes for sale
Ames, IA houses for rent

Home to Iowa State University, residents benefit from a dynamic campus life, cultural events, and a strong emphasis on education. The city’s well-maintained parks, diverse neighborhoods, and commitment to sustainability contribute to a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment, making Ames an attractive destination.

10. Council Bluffs, Iowa

Population: 62,799
Median Sale Price: $190,000
Council Bluffs, IA homes for sale
Council Bluffs, IA houses for rent

Known for its rich history, exemplified by the Lewis and Clark Monument and Scenic Overlook, the city connects residents to the past. With a growing riverfront area, cultural events like Celebrate CB, and a commitment to community development, Council Bluffs creates a dynamic and engaging environment, making it an appealing place to call home in western Iowa.

Methodology: The population data was retrieved from the United States Census Bureau for 2021, while the median sale price data was sourced from the Redfin Data Center in January 2024.

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