Nearest big city: Des Moines
It’s all about growth in Waukee, a small suburb just west of Des Moines. The city has gained over 10,000 residents in the last 10 years (a 74% uptick, and quite the feat for a town of just 24,000). The area’s grown so much, Waukee’s high school had to be split in two. Another elementary school, two middle schools and a new athletic facility are also in the works.
Make no mistake: This quiet community isn’t full up just yet. Housing is booming in Waukee, and nearly 600 single-family housing permits were issued just last year — a record for the city. That doesn’t even include the hundreds of permits issued for townhomes (over 250) and multi-family developments, either.
The best part? Despite the demand, homes are still quite affordable in Waukee. The city’s median home price clocked in at $272,854 during the first quarter of the year — a mere 5% jump over 2020. Compared to national home prices, which jumped 12.6% in the first quarter, that’s certainly a number worth boasting about. — Aly J. Yale