The Summit City has reached the peak of the country’s cost of living. Neighborhood analysis platform Niche has announced that out of 228 ranked cities, Fort Wayne is the number one city with the lowest cost of living in America.
The 2018 Places with the Lowest Cost of Living ranking provides a comprehensive assessment of the affordability of an area. This grade takes into account key factors, including a location’s housing, food, and fuel costs, as well as the median tax rates, in an attempt to measure the overall affordability and relative cost of living of an area.
Mayor Tom Henry said this continues Fort Wayne’s growing status as destination city.
“We’re obviously trying to keep an eye on our tax base and the cost of living in general,” he said. “It’s something that we’ve been working very hard on and it’s nice to see that someone’s finally recognized that. Whenever we make a list like that, it certainly helps us out in the marketing of our city.”
Niche spokesperson Jessica Hair explained that Fort Wayne being number one is definitely a point of pride. According to the site the median home value in Fort Wayne is $103,100 compared to the national value of $184,700.
“The thing that really stands out about Fort Wayne is how balanced low costs are for many different things, like rent, housing, taxes, food,” she said. “Housing costs aren’t the lowest of all the cities we ranked, but relative to income and in combination with these other factors, it ultimately is our city with the lowest cost of living.”
Local realtor Charla Sheray of Coldwell Banker gave some more insight by adding that the city’s cheap construction labor costs makes for cheaper housing prices.
“I believe that part of the reason the values are low in Fort Wayne is we’ve always enjoyed a high quality of construction labor with low prices, low income, their wages were low.” Sheray said. “The largest percentage of anyone’s income goes towards their housing and the fact that we can have a lower percentage of income and payment paid for our housing needs, then there’s more money for transportation, schooling, medical, healthcare etc.”
Three of the five cities with the lowest cost of living are in Indiana. South Bend is ranked second and Evansville is ranked fifth.