Department of Numbers

Iowa Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Iowa was $741 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent was $744 in 2016. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2017 Iowa median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Iowa (2016 dollars)2

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $981 +0.93% +7.80%
Iowa Median Gross Rent $741 +1.93% +8.49%

Iowa Real Gross Rent Trends

At $741, real median gross rent in Iowa was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $744, real average gross rent in Iowa was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005.

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

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Iowa

Date US Median Iowa Median Iowa Average
2016 $981 $741 $744
2015 $972 $727 $739
2014 $942 $717 $720
2013 $910 $683 $700
2012 $898 $672 $683
2011 $898 $663 $669
2010 $912 $671 $678
2009 $916 $665 $661
2008 $932 $687 $682
2007 $885 $636 $626
2006 $895 $685 $666
2005 $869 $667 $651

Iowa Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2016 the rental vacancy rate for Iowa was 6.24% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Iowa

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Iowa 6.24% -0.17% +0.21%

Trends in Iowa Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Iowa peaked in 2007 at 7.54%. Since then it has fallen by 1.30% to 6.24%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2014 post peak low of 5.47%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.77%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Iowa, US

Rental vacancy rate in Iowa

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Iowa

Date US Iowa
2016 5.89% 6.24%
2015 5.85% 6.41%
2014 6.32% 5.47%
2013 6.49% 6.03%
2012 6.77% 6.77%
2011 7.40% 6.64%
2010 8.17% 6.38%
2009 8.43% 5.97%
2008 7.86% 6.80%
2007 7.87% 7.54%
2006 7.70% 6.28%
2005 7.74% 7.17%

Iowa Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Iowa, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Iowa, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 15.81% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Iowa Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.43% -0.20% -0.35%
Iowa 15.81% +0.07% +0.21%

Trends in Iowa Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Iowa household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 15.88%. Since then it has fallen by 0.08% to 15.81%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Iowa, US

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

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

Date US Iowa
2016 20.43% 15.81%
2015 20.63% 15.74%
2014 20.89% 15.88%
2013 20.78% 15.60%
2012 20.65% 15.57%
2011 20.70% 15.61%
2010 20.50% 15.74%
2009 20.12% 15.26%
2008 19.00% 14.87%
2007 18.66% 14.39%
2006 18.90% 15.75%
2005 18.89% 15.38%

Renter Fraction in Iowa

You can calculate the renter fraction in Iowa 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 as a fraction of total Iowa households. In 2016 29.37% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Iowa Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.88% -0.09% +0.38%
Iowa 29.37% +0.04% +0.18%

Trends in the Iowa Renter Fraction

At 29.37%, the 2016 household based renter fraction in Iowa was at its highest level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Iowa, US

Fraction of renters in Iowa

History of Iowa Renter Fraction

Date US Iowa
2016 36.88% 29.37%
2015 36.97% 29.33%
2014 36.90% 29.13%
2013 36.50% 29.19%
2012 36.09% 28.07%
2011 35.42% 27.65%
2010 34.65% 27.64%
2009 34.13% 27.92%
2008 33.36% 27.11%
2007 32.80% 26.31%
2006 32.73% 26.70%
2005 33.10% 26.90%

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.