Department of Numbers

Des Moines Iowa Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Des Moines, IA (the Des Moines-West Des Moines metro area) was $825 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Des Moines was $870 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Des Moines median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Des Moines rental vacancy rates, Des Moines rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Des Moines.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Des Moines Iowa (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Iowa Median Gross Rent $718 +1.41% +8.30%
Des Moines, IA Median Gross Rent $825 +1.60% +6.31%

Des Moines, IA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $825, real median gross rent in Des Moines was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005. At $870, real average gross rent in Des Moines was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Des Moines: Des Moines IA Median, Des Moines IA Average, Iowa Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Des Moines

Date US
Median
Iowa
Median
Des Moines, IA
Median
Des Moines, IA
Average
2015 $959 $718 $825 $870
2014 $930 $708 $812 $835
2013 $898 $674 $789 $832
2012 $886 $663 $776 $786
2011 $887 $655 $762 $780
2010 $901 $663 $756 $781
2009 $905 $656 $759 $771
2008 $920 $678 $777 $784
2007 $874 $628 $738 $743
2006 $883 $676 $786 $793
2005 $858 $659 $783 $771

Des Moines Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Des Moines Iowa was 6.08% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Des Moines Iowa

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Iowa 6.41% +0.94% -0.36%
Des Moines, IA 6.08% +1.74% +2.79%

Trends in Des Moines, IA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Des Moines peaked in 2007 at 9.43%. Since then it has fallen by 3.35% to 6.08%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2012 post peak low of 3.29%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 2.79%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Des Moines IA, Iowa, US

Rental vacancy rate in Iowa

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Des Moines

Date US Iowa Des Moines, IA
2015 5.85% 6.41% 6.08%
2014 6.32% 5.47% 4.34%
2013 6.49% 6.03% 3.74%
2012 6.77% 6.77% 3.29%
2011 7.40% 6.64% 6.46%
2010 8.17% 6.38% 5.52%
2009 8.43% 5.97% 5.65%
2008 7.86% 6.80% 5.84%
2007 7.87% 7.54% 9.43%
2006 7.70% 6.28% 3.65%
2005 7.74% 7.17% 5.36%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Des Moines, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Des Moines, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 15.96% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Des Moines Iowa Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Iowa 15.74% -0.14% +0.17%
Des Moines, IA 15.96% +0.28% +0.26%

Trends in Des Moines, IA Rent as a Fraction of Income

Des Moines renters paid 15.96% of median household income towards the median monthly gross rent in 2015. This is the highest fraction of median household income going to rent since the series originated in 2005.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Des Moines IA, Iowa, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Des Moines Iowa

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Des Moines Iowa

Date US Iowa Des Moines, IA
2015 20.63% 15.74% 15.96%
2014 20.89% 15.88% 15.68%
2013 20.78% 15.60% 15.59%
2012 20.65% 15.57% 15.70%
2011 20.70% 15.61% 15.42%
2010 20.50% 15.74% 15.76%
2009 20.12% 15.26% 14.97%
2008 19.00% 14.87% 14.44%
2007 18.66% 14.39% 14.31%
2006 18.90% 15.75% 15.26%
2005 18.89% 15.38% 15.13%

Renter Fraction in Des Moines Iowa

You can calculate the renter fraction in Des Moines in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Des Moines as a fraction of total Des Moines households. In 2015 31.63% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Des Moines Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Iowa 29.33% +0.20% +1.26%
Des Moines, IA 31.63% -0.01% +2.61%

Trends in the Des Moines, IA Renter Fraction

The Des Moines household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 31.64% and is now 0.01% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Des Moines IA, Iowa, US

Fraction of renters in Des Moines

History of Des Moines Renter Fraction

Date US Iowa Des Moines, IA
2015 36.97% 29.33% 31.63%
2014 36.90% 29.13% 31.64%
2013 36.50% 29.19% 30.92%
2012 36.09% 28.07% 29.02%
2011 35.42% 27.65% 28.62%
2010 34.65% 27.64% 27.84%
2009 34.13% 27.92% 29.47%
2008 33.36% 27.11% 27.27%
2007 32.80% 26.31% 26.03%
2006 32.73% 26.70% 26.38%
2005 33.10% 26.90% 27.67%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.