CONWAY (KATV) — Out of hundreds of cities across the United States, Conway comes in second place as the cheapest city to live in for 2018.
“Some people say it’s a well-kept secret, but I seem to think it’s getting out more and more,” said Velda Lueders, Conway real estate agent and president of the Arkansas Realtors Association.
According to Lueders, that secret is Conway’s quality of living and more importantly its cheap cost of living. The secret is obviously out now, after StudentLoanHero.com ranked the city in its top ten list of cheapest cities to live in.
“I showed a house earlier today and I guarantee you there will be multiple offers on that house,” said Lueders.
“Really, I mean, the costs there are low across the board,” said Ben Luthi, staff-writer for Student Loan Hero.
Luthi said Conway’s second-place ranking has to do with cheaper costs of utilities (19 percent below the national average), cheaper groceries (15 percent below the national average) and cheaper access to healthcare (15 percent below the national average).
But one of the biggest things Conway has going for itself is cheap housing. The median home listing price in Conway is nearly $85,000 less than the national average. Luthi believes the low housing prices in Conway can likely be attributed to the city being a college town.
“Having so many colleges there, so many students there – that’s going to drive the cost of housing down simply because students can’t afford more expensive housing costs,” said Luthi.
Cary Kuykendall, a contractor and house flipper, just flipped his 25th home in Conway. Kuykendall said flipping homes is a lot easier in Conway given the low cost of living.
“We hit a lot of home runs with first-time buyers,” said Kuykendall.
But inexpensive living isn’t always a good thing. Lower cost of living typically translates to a lower median income, which in Conway is $8,000 less than the national average. Student Loan Hero’s report also notes Conway’s issue with poverty, where nearly 1 in 5 residents live below the poverty line.
Some of the other cities that made the top-ten cheapest cities list are right here in the mid-south. Memphis ranks #10; Tupelo, Mississippi ranks #5.