Let’s face it, St Louis doesn’t have the best of reputations when it comes to crime. It also scores on the low side when it comes to median incomes. Put those two things aside, however, and you’ll find a lot to love. With its youthful energy, awesome restaurant scene, diverse neighborhoods, flourishing job market, and unique history, it’s the kind of place that inspires loyalty in its current residents, and a keen interest in prospective ones. If you’re considering making St Louis your next base, don’t move a muscle until you’ve read our roundup of the top 20 best places to live in St Louis in 2020.
Unlike most places in St Louis, Ellendale’s median household income is above the national average (around $57,416 by the latest reports). The median property price, meanwhile, remains happily below the US average at just $132,800 for a decent family-sized home. Along with great affordability, residents can expect a friendly, active community, and all the amenities and services they could ever need right on their very doorstep.
19. Southwest Garden
Affordable housing ($147,392 by the last count), walkable streets, a diverse, welcoming community, a regular farmer’s market, and just about every type of store you could ever need… if this sounds your kind of community, Southwest Garden could well be your next ideal home.
18. McKinley Heights
Property in McKinley Heights may be slightly above the national average ($219,638 by the last count) but it’s a price few will argue over considering the very respectable average median income of $57,679, the bountiful supply of restaurants, cafes, and shops, and the easy proximity to just about every part of the city you’d choose to go.
As Trip Savvy reports, Downtown has undergone extensive regeneration in recent years, and now ranks as one of the city’s most desirable locations. Home to a great restaurant scene and numerous attractions like the Gateway Arch and Busch Stadium, it’s an ideal base for young professionals, especially considering the average home here can be had for as little as $129,059.
If the average property price of $136,092 wasn’t enough to attract you to the little neighborhood of Clayton-Tamm, the above-average median income of $56,222, active sense of community, and abundance of local businesses and restaurants certainly should.
15. Lindenwood Park
Why pay the national average of $184,700 for a home when you could move to the attractive neighborhood of Lindenwood Park and pay just $153,984 instead? With its decent crime rate, the above-average median wage of $59,894, great assortment of quality restaurants, bars, and shops, flourishing job market, a strong community spirit, and abundance of housing options, it makes an outstanding choice.
14. South Hampton
Affordable housing (expect to part with around $174,364 for a single-family home), a very healthy median income of $57,598, a clutch of respectable schools, a decent crime rate, walkable streets, easy access to pretty much any part of St Louis you’d care to go, an inclusive, friendly community, and a great selection of stores and restaurants… if that sounds your kind of thing, South Hampton has your name all over it.
13. Central West End
If you’re young and looking for fun, you’ll find few better places in St Louis to base yourself than the neighborhood of Central West End. While the cost of living here certainly isn’t cheap (expect to pay around $297,409 for a single-family home), it’s a price worth paying when you consider the number of perks on offer. The nightlife is outstanding, with enough to keep even the most tenacious 24-hour party people entertained. The range of shops and restaurants, meanwhile, is wide enough to give residents plenty of opportunities to shop and eat until they drop. The only downside is the crime rate, which, although fairly average by St Louis standards, maybe enough to deter prospective families from settling here.
12. McRee Town
For the very attractive price of $174,095, you stand the chance of owning a very decently sized single-family home in the desirable neighborhood of McRee Town. For that price, you can expect a median income of $50,498, a welcoming, friendly community with plenty of things to see, do and experience, and a low crime rate (property crime actually ranks as one of the lowest in the city, with only 233 burglaries per 100k residents (compared to a national average of 500.1), 990.4 thefts (compared to an average of 2,042.8), and 203.9 motor vehicle thefts (compared to an average of 284).
11. Franz Park
Like many places in St Louis, the average median income in Franz Park ($51,285 by the latest reports) doesn’t seem too enticing on face value. Compare it against the median home price of $125,658, however, and you’re suddenly looking at an altogether more attractive proposition. Along with the excellent affordability, the neighborhood offers a great standard of living, thanks in no small part to its excellent location and abundance of unique restaurants, locally owned businesses, mom and pop stores, and chain stores. Compared to many similarly sized neighborhoods in the city, it also boasts a low crime rate, with an average of 47.1 assaults per 100 thousand residents (compared to a national average of 282.7), 0 murders (compared to an average of 6.1), and 94.1 robberies (compared to an average of 135.5).
10. Forest Park Southeast
Forest Park Southeast has seen a lot of investment in recent years, with more than just a few new-build apartments popping up. The abundance of housing opportunities has resulted in a very reasonable average property price of $188,703 (or $898, if you’d rather rent). Despite the low property prices, the median income of this prospering little neighborhood stands at a very reasonable $53,106, which, when combined with its central location (the Delmar Loop, Downtown, the Science Center, the Grove, and Central West End are all within striking distance) makes for a very attractive destination, indeed.
9. Clifton Heights
The median income in Clifton Heights may be a smidgeon under the national average ($54,187 compared to $55,322) but considering the average property price of $130,695 comes in well below the average of $184,700, you’re unlikely to hear too many complaints about the cost of living. Factor in easy access to a great range of shops, a good selection of schools, a low (at least by St Louis standards) crime rate, and a great sense of community among the 4005 residents, and it’s easy to understand why Clifton Heights is considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods in St Louis.
8. North Hampton
If affordable housing is at the top of your list of priorities, you’ll be more than just a little pleased with the $153,832 price tag most properties in North Hampton come with. Along with the budget-friendly homes, the neighborhood boasts some seriously attractive perks, including a respectable median income, once of the lowest crime rates in St Louis, great walkability, and a good selection of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops to choose from.
7. Benton Park
Diverse, moderately wealthy, and quietly unassuming, Benton Park may not have the bells and whistles of some of St Louis’ more well-known neighborhoods, but it shares all the same characteristics of great living at an affordable price. With a vibrant, youthful community, a gorgeous range of historic buildings, and an inclusive, truly welcoming community, it’s a neighborhood that’s most definitely on the rise.
6. Debaliviere Place
With the average single-family home costing just $193,584, Debaliviere Place is a very affordable, not to mention desirable, destination. Respectable incomes and an extensive range of public services and amenities combine to great effect… and no doubt leave the small community of 3,867 residents very pleased with their choice of home.
For first time buyers looking to get a foot on the property ladder, Cheltenham makes a great option. Just $140,514 will be enough to secure a good-sized, 3-bedroom family home… although unlike certain other areas, low property prices don’t mean low living standards. Move into this desirable little enclave and you can expect a healthy median income of $64,355, access to some of the best schools in St Louis (not to mention easy access to its main attractions and amenities), and the kind of warm, diverse community that’s guaranteed to make you feel welcome.
Yes, the average property price does come in slightly above the national average ($255,690 compared to the median of $184,700) but given the number of benefits that come with living in Skinker-Debaliviere, it’s a price well worth paying. With an educated, welcoming community and a job market capable of supporting the median income of $65,533, it’s little wonder so many St Louis residents are keen to call it their next home.
If you can find a spare $221,855, you may want to put it to good use by investing in a property in Shaw. With an abundance of events, attractions, and amenities, it’s little wonder so many are willing to leave such sterling reviews of their neighborhood on Niche. “We’ve been here for 10 years and can’t say enough great things about the neighborhood. We have amazing neighbors who we trust with our kids and keys to the house, celebrate holidays, volunteer at the Art fair, have block parties and even clean the alleys together. Summertime is the best time here because there is so much to do within walking distance: on Mondays there are free concerts in Tower grove park, on Wednesdays free jazz concerts at the Botanical garden, then it’s food truck Fridays in the park, Saturdays have the best in town Farmers market in tower grove park with free yoga and life music. There are also amazing Japanese festival, Chinese festival, and Festival of Nations, all that within walking distance. Love it!”, says one, while another enthuses “We’ve been residents for five years after moving from a suburban location. Our only regret is we waited so long. In the neighborhood, we have a great jazz club (written up in The NY Times), a coffee shop, a nitro ice cream joint, a vegetarian restaurant, a wine bar, and a wine and cheese place. Outside of the food scene we have several small boutiques. If you expand the radius to walking distance, there are an unbelievable number of shops and restaurants. We sometimes refer to it as food heaven. As for things to do we have the amazing Missouri Botanical Garden right next to the neighborhood. Also next to the neighborhood we have the second-largest park in St Louis, Tower Grove Park. All of this is topped off by the people. Block parties, children’s parades and parties, and more people out walking than you can imagine. It’s simply a great place to live and visit.”
Just missing out on the title of best neighborhood in St Louis is Wydown-Skinker, a small community of 1,209 that boasts a range of attractions that far outweigh its diminutive size. Granted, property does come in several hundred thousand above the national average (expect to spend around $486,700 on a single-family home) but thanks to a low crime rate, a superb median household income of $103,555, a welcoming, educated populous (29% have a Bachelor’s degree, and a whopping 62% have a Masters), and a great selection of schools, you’re unlikely to hear too many complaints about the cost of living.
1. Hi Pointe
If you want to experience the very best St Louis has to offer, head to Hi Pointe. With a population of just 2,127, Hi Point is nothing if not exclusive… even if its very affordable property price of $129,657 suggests otherwise. With a low crime rate, a respectable median income of $55,683, a good school system, and a positive plethora of amenities and things to do, it offers the ideal solution to that age-old problem of combining affordable living with a great quality of life.