Carmel ranks among top small cities in America

By Eric Kuznar

Carmel has been named in the top 1 percent of Wallethub’s 2016 Best Small Cities in America.

Carmel ranked especially high for its low crime rate at 27th, housing costs at 22nd and was 11th in number of residences with at least a high school diploma.

Jill Gonzalez, an analyst for Wallethub, said Carmel’s affordable living is the factor that stood out most to the analysts who worked on the study.

“Carmel ranked highly for the affordability,” Gonzalez said. “Specifically, its high median annual income, at almost $108,000, makes renting a two-bedroom apartment or owning a home extremely affordable for residents.”

Gonzalez said the study analyzed 1,268 small cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000.

Gonzalez said the study was inspired by the rapid growth in America’s small cities, which have experienced 10 percent more growth than the rest of the country.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has seen that growth since his first term as mayor in 1996. At that time the city’s population was 31,757. By 2015 it had risen to more than 88,000.

“All these things we have built over the last 20 years have made a huge difference,” he said.  “How we are perceived outside of the state has made a difference in the quality of life for our residences.”

Brainard said that closely monitoring finances, while giving space for growth to occur and welcoming diversity into the community, has made Carmel what it is today.

“Many cities try to design the market. We said very strongly that we are going to let the market work,” Brainard said. “Everybody does not want to live in the same type of house. We have all these different options for people.”

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6 Responses

  1. 123SNL456 says:

    “Many cities try to design the market. We said very strongly that we are
    going to let the market work,” Brainard said. “Everybody does not want
    to live in the same type of house. We have all these different options
    for people.”

    1. I guess spending over $176,000,000.00 on an arts facility and creating an “Arts & Design District” is letting thing happen organically.

    2. Carmel is such a fantastic place, that builders and developers are lining up to be a part of the community, not requiring any tax brakes, subsidies, etc.

    I know that it’s difficult for some to recognize, but points 1 & 2 are intended to be sarcasm.

    What I want to know is who is it in the propaganda department that spends time on the internet finding the websites that will rank anything?

  2. Bob says:

    But in October 2016 Wallet Hub said we were 686 in Quality of Life. So which is right? The story from the city or the story from the source? I’m confused. Seems we pay an awful lot of money for only 686th? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aee8b14f0e21558f96d7e39772fa060f4e06c2374cecabf0d98efca18928f361.png

  3. RKW50 says:

    Do they rank the number of businesses closed due to road construction? Or count the neighborhoods they are destroying with their commercial building and increased traffic? Or, what about the future slums they are building with all the huge apartment projects. Single family housing is what built Carmel, some seem to forget that. That said, when are they building a 2nd High School?

  4. Mark says:

    What I find interesting is that the mayor says “we” are building all these apartments for the millennials. He is banking on the millennials wanting to live in 3 story apartments.

    Millennials are buying homes, and they’re buying them in the suburbs
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/millennials-are-buying-homes-and-theyre-buying-them-in-the-suburbs-2016-03-09
    ” The younger the buyer, the older the home purchased, NAR said.”

    The mayor is trying to attract the millennials yet he is building apartments and tearing down older homes so Olde Town can build $1 million homes on a third of an acre. Yes, that will attract the millennials.

    Are you listening CarmelBruce? Hint. Bruce Kimball

    • RKW50 says:

      That is a GREAT link Mark. Should be brought up and put in Brainard’s face every time he mentions density. My son, and daughters have NO interest in buying a condo, or multi family apartment. This is not NYC. As I have said many times, when I was graduating from college, it was not my desire to purchase one of these cracker boxes. I wanted a yard to play ball with the kids, let the dogs roam, and buy a lawn tractor. Not interested in walking the dogs at 11pm, just let them out in the fence. Not interested in having to walk or drive to a park to play ball. I grew up in Indy, not in Chicago or NYC. BTW, most of the young urbans I know in Chicago, dream of moving to up around Ravinia or north to the suburbs. They want out of river north or Wrigleyville, cause they have kids now.

  5. Mark says:

    “Brainard said that closely monitoring finances, while giving space for growth to occur and welcoming diversity into the community, has made Carmel what it is today.”

    Diversity? It is almost 2017 and Carmel has a 3.2% African American population. Add the 3.2% Hispanic population with the 2.5% other races and wham diverse.

    Median rent in Carmel is $2,000. Yep, that will attract diversity.

    Median Listing price for home $380,000. Yep, that will attract diversity.

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