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 $851 in 2016 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Des Moines was $894 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 Des Moines median and average rent data will be released in September of 2018.

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 (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%
Des Moines, IA Median Gross Rent $851 +1.79% +6.37%

Des Moines, IA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $851, real median gross rent in Des Moines was at its highest level in 2016 since the series began in 2005. At $894, real average gross rent in Des Moines was at its highest level in 2016 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
2016 $981 $741 $851 $894
2015 $972 $727 $836 $881
2014 $942 $717 $823 $846
2013 $910 $683 $800 $843
2012 $898 $672 $786 $797
2011 $898 $663 $772 $790
2010 $912 $671 $766 $791
2009 $916 $665 $768 $782
2008 $932 $687 $787 $794
2007 $885 $636 $747 $753
2006 $895 $685 $796 $803
2005 $869 $667 $793 $781

Des Moines 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 Des Moines Iowa was 5.20% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Des Moines Iowa

2016 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.89% +0.04% -0.60%
Iowa 6.24% -0.17% +0.21%
Des Moines, IA 5.20% -0.88% +1.46%

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 4.23% to 5.20%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2012 post peak low of 3.29%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 1.91%.

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
2016 5.89% 6.24% 5.20%
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 15.54% in 2016 according to the ACS.

Des Moines 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%
Des Moines, IA 15.54% -0.42% -0.05%

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

The fraction of median Des Moines household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2015 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 15.96%. Since then it has fallen by 0.42% to 15.54%.

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
2016 20.43% 15.81% 15.54%
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 2016 30.59% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Des Moines 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%
Des Moines, IA 30.59% -1.04% -0.33%

Trends in the Des Moines, IA Renter Fraction

The Des Moines household renter fraction peaked in in 2014 at 31.64% and is now 1.05% 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
2016 36.88% 29.37% 30.59%
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.