Des Moines Real Estate Market: House Prices, Trends & Stats

Des Moines real estate might be one of the best places to invest your money. Located along the banks of the Des Moines River, this city is the capital of Iowa. Des Moines was born in 1843 as mainly a coal mining town. But since then, this city quickly became one of the largest coal mining towns in the state.

One of the most intriguing things about Des Moines is that it is where you will find the headquarters of many financial corporations such as EMC Insurance Companies, Principal Financial Group, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, that is not the only reason this city holds so much potential.

Des Moines has a very stable and steady housing market. Because the market in this city is more rural, you will be able to see better housing activity compared to urbanized real estate markets. And you can see this clearly as you look at Des Moines.

Impressively, the median home price in this city has just hit $265,000 in 2022, which is a new high for Des Moines. And based on data, we do not see the market slowing down anytime soon. While the housing prices in the real estate market are rising, the inventory is decreasing.

There are many reasons why real estate investors should consider investing in Des Moines. Once you have found the right property in the city, you can start to act fast. Why? Well, simply because the median sale price of a single-family house in this city has increased by more than 13%. Based on the Iowa Association of Realtors, the days on the market until the house gets sold are around 43 in 2022.

New York Times has described Des Moines as the perfect city for you to watch politics in an intimate setting. Other than that, this city also has a reputation as an incredible place for you to start a business. It is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States today.

If you want to know whether or not you should start looking for houses for sale in Des Moines, Iowa, you need to learn more about this city. So, make sure you keep reading to find out whether or not this city is worth considering.

Des Moines Population and Growth

One of the first things you need to look at is the population and growth in the city. And you will be glad to know that the population growth in Des Moines has been quite stunning over the last ten years from 2022. The most recent census in Des Moines showed that the population grew by as much as 5.4% over the last decade. The suburbs in this city are leading the growth in Iowa.

Based on data from the Des Moines Register, a couple of suburbs in this city saw a population growth of 7.6% on average over the last ten years. These suburbs include Grimes and Waukee. While most cities in Iowa experienced many resident losses, Des Moines only keeps growing.

Des Moines is the biggest city in Iowa with a population of over 214,000 in the city. In the metropolitan area, you will find as many as 699,000 residents, which is quite impressive. The metro area of this city includes Polk, Guthrie, Warren, Dallas, and Madison counties.

You will also find a couple of suburban communities in the metropolitan area of Des Moines. These communities include Altoona, Norwalk, Waukee, Ankeny, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, and Bondurant. All of those communities have shown impressive population growth.

The average annual population growth in Des Moines is 6.7%, which is a very impressive number. Over the last ten years from 2022, the population in this city managed to grow by 5.4%. Based on that data, you can conclude that Des Moines is one of the fastest-growing cities in the Midwest. This city is even the fastest-growing city in the state of Iowa. That is why Des Moines real estate is very hot right now.

Des Moines Housing Market

The next thing you need to learn about Des Moines is its housing market. If you are a small-time investor, you will be glad to know that this city has an affordable market compared to other cities you will find in the United States. However, that is also one of the reasons why the real estate market in this city is very hot today.

Based on data from the National Association of Realtors, the metropolitan area of Des Moines is one of the best markets post-Covid for 2021 and 2022. According to the Zillow Median Home Value Index, the home value index for this city is $189,518 as of May 2022. This value has increased by as much as 12% over 2021.

Over the last five years from 2022, the home values in this city have increased by more than 49%. Based on a report by, the median listing price for a standard single-family home in Des Moines is around $195,000 while the median listing price per square foot of a home is $177.

The Des Moines real estate market shows huge potential because the median selling price for a standard single-family home is approximately $187,500. The average number of days on the market for houses in this city is 49, which is pretty impressive.

Property investors will be glad to know that the sales-to-list price ratio in Des Moines is almost 100%. This means that you will be able to sell houses in this city for the full asking price. Southwestern Hills is the most expensive neighborhood out of the 28 neighborhoods you will find in Des Moines. The median listing price of this neighborhood is $367,500. On the other hand, the most affordable neighborhood is Fairground with a median listing price of approximately $150,000.

Des Moines Renting Market

Des Moines real estate is also thriving because of its attractive renting market. This city has impressive affordability and quality of life in the eyes of renters. Policygenius even ranked Des Moines 4th in the list of the most affordable cities for renters in the United States.

In Des Moines, 80% of housing units for rent have a very affordable range of price, which is between $500 to $1,300 per month. The median rent price in this city for a standard 3-bedroom house is $1,210 per month according to Zumper.

One of the best things about renting in Des Moines is how the renting market has been very steady for many years. Out of all of the occupied housing units in Des Moines, 34% are occupied by renters. You will be able to see rental housing units in many areas of Des Moines.

The most affordable neighborhoods in Des Moines include Martin-Hickman, South Park, and Fort Des Moines with a renting price of $975 or less per month. On the other hand, the most expensive neighborhoods in this city for renters are East Village, Beaverdale, and Downtown Des Moines with rents as much as $2,195 per month. The most popular neighborhoods in Des Moines include East Village, Woodland Heights, and Downtown Des Moines.

Cost of Living in Des Moines

One of the reasons why people love living in Des Moines is because of its low cost of living. In Des Moines, you will be able to find everything you need at a reasonable price. That is why a lot of people choose to move from other places in Iowa to Des Moines.

Based on data from, living in Des Moines is more affordable than living in most places in the United State. The prices of groceries, utilities, transportation, and housing in Des Moines are significantly more affordable than in the United States on average. However, the cost of health in Des Moines is still more expensive than the health cost in the United States on average.

Des Moines Market History

Another thing you need to review aside from the Iowa housing market is the market history of Des Moines. By reviewing the market history, you will be able to determine the potential appreciation of houses in the city. You will also be able to predict the demand for rental properties in the future.

To help review the market history in Des Moines, you can use the Freddie Mac House Price Index. This index helps you measure the price inflation of houses in the United States. The benchmark for this index is 100, which is the house price index in December 2000.

In April 2017, the house price index in Des Moines is 141.74. This index changed to 195.48 in April 2022, which shows a 37.9% change in home prices in five years. The average annual change in home prices in this city is around 11.1%, while the monthly change is around 1.0%.

Other than the history of the home prices, you should also take a look at the affordability history of houses in Des Moines. Based on data from Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, you can see the affordability of houses across the United States. This data rates the affordability on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the least affordable.

Based on that data, Des Moines’ affordability index is 4 out of 10. This means that Des Moines has a very affordable real estate market in the United States. Home prices in this city have increased by as much as 16.1% since their last peak in 2006. And since its last bottom in 2012, home prices have increased by as much as 43.0%. That is essentially what you need to know about the Iowa property value trends.

Des Moines Market Forecast

Based on the market history of Des Moines, you can see that the real estate market in this city has been quite stable. You can expect a stable increase in home prices and a stable population growth. All of those things will open an opportunity for you as a real estate investor.

The US News and World Report ranked Des Moines as one of the best places to retire in the United States. Because of this, you can expect more people to move to this city, increasing the demand for housing in Des Moines. If you act fast, you might be able to gain a lot of profit from rental property investment in this city. And that is why Des Moines real estate is worth considering.

Living in Des Moines – The Pros and Cons

Now that you know all there is to know about Des Moines Iowa real estate, let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of living in this city. Some advantages you will find if you live in Des Moines include:

  • Low Cost of Living. The first advantage you will feel is the low cost of living in this city. The housing prices are especially very affordable in Des Moines. That is why many people choose to move here from other parts of Iowa.
  • Great Job Market. Looking for a job can be a nightmare in a lot of places in the United States, but not in Des Moines. The unemployment rate of this city is very low, which is 3.0%. You will be able to find many jobs available in the city, which is also one of the reasons why people move there.

Like any other city in the United States, Des Moines also has its disadvantages. Some of those disadvantages include:

  • Poor Schools. Education in Des Moines might not be what you hope for. The college readiness of students in Des Moines is still below average.
  • Above Average Crime Rate. The crime rate in this city is still above average compared to other places in the United States. Despite the low unemployment rates, crimes in Des Moines are still quite frequent. And that might be something you need to consider before investing in Des Moines.

Des Moines Real Estate Market Final Thoughts

Des Moines is a beautiful city in Iowa that holds great potential. As an investor, you should consider investing in Des Moines because of its impressive real estate market. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take a look at Des Moines real estate right now.

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