Department of Numbers

Iowa City Iowa Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Iowa City, IA (the Iowa City metro area) was $868 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Iowa City was $957 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 Iowa City median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Iowa City 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%
Iowa City, IA Median Gross Rent $868 -4.30% +10.86%

Iowa City, IA Real Gross Rent Trends

Median gross rent for Iowa City peaked in real terms in 2014 at $907 and is now $39 (4.30%) lower. At $957, real average gross rent in Iowa City was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Iowa City: Iowa City IA Median, Iowa City IA Average, Iowa Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Iowa City

Date US
Median
Iowa
Median
Iowa City, IA
Median
Iowa City, IA
Average
2015 $959 $718 $868 $957
2014 $930 $708 $907 $940
2013 $898 $674 $793 $884
2012 $886 $663 $783 $849
2011 $887 $655 $820 $877
2010 $901 $663 $850 $892
2009 $905 $656 $759 $826
2008 $920 $678 $776 $875
2007 $874 $628 $733 $767
2006 $883 $676 $763 $845
2005 $858 $659 $797 $834

Iowa City 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 Iowa City Iowa was 6.52% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Iowa City Iowa

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Iowa 6.41% +0.94% -0.36%
Iowa City, IA 6.52% +4.49%

Trends in Iowa City, IA Rental Vacancy Rate

At 6.52%, Iowa City residential rental vacancy rate in 2015 is at the highest point since 2005, the beginning of our reporting for this series.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Iowa City IA, Iowa, US

Rental vacancy rate in Iowa

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Iowa City

Date US Iowa Iowa City, IA
2015 5.85% 6.41% 6.52%
2014 6.32% 5.47% 2.03%
2013 6.49% 6.03% 1.30%
2012 6.77% 6.77%
2011 7.40% 6.64%
2010 8.17% 6.38% 6.05%
2009 8.43% 5.97% 4.15%
2008 7.86% 6.80% 5.67%
2007 7.87% 7.54% 3.96%
2006 7.70% 6.28% 4.52%
2005 7.74% 7.17%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Iowa City, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Iowa City, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 18.82% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Iowa City 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%
Iowa City, IA 18.82% +0.54% +1.06%

Trends in Iowa City, IA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Iowa City household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2010 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 20.00%. Since then it has fallen by 1.17% to 18.82%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Iowa City IA, Iowa, US

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

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

Date US Iowa Iowa City, IA
2015 20.63% 15.74% 18.82%
2014 20.89% 15.88% 18.28%
2013 20.78% 15.60% 18.36%
2012 20.65% 15.57% 17.76%
2011 20.70% 15.61% 18.36%
2010 20.50% 15.74% 20.00%
2009 20.12% 15.26% 17.37%
2008 19.00% 14.87% 15.51%
2007 18.66% 14.39% 15.48%
2006 18.90% 15.75% 17.13%
2005 18.89% 15.38% 18.80%

Renter Fraction in Iowa City Iowa

You can calculate the renter fraction in Iowa City 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 Iowa City as a fraction of total Iowa City households. In 2015 40.07% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Iowa City 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%
Iowa City, IA 40.07% +3.28% +1.48%

Trends in the Iowa City, IA Renter Fraction

The Iowa City household renter fraction peaked in in 2013 at 41.14% and is now 1.07% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Iowa City IA, Iowa, US

Fraction of renters in Iowa City

History of Iowa City Renter Fraction

Date US Iowa Iowa City, IA
2015 36.97% 29.33% 40.07%
2014 36.90% 29.13% 36.79%
2013 36.50% 29.19% 41.14%
2012 36.09% 28.07% 38.59%
2011 35.42% 27.65% 38.21%
2010 34.65% 27.64% 39.22%
2009 34.13% 27.92% 36.33%
2008 33.36% 27.11% 35.68%
2007 32.80% 26.31% 36.96%
2006 32.73% 26.70% 38.11%
2005 33.10% 26.90% 38.78%

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.