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Iowa Rent Report – March 2019

  • The national average rent reached $1,430 in March 2019, a year-over-year increase of 3.2%, according to data from Yardi Matrix.
  • Des Moines, IA renters saw the highest annual rent increase in March, reaching $896 per month, up by 20.3% since 2015.
  • Ankeny apartments are the most expensive among the cities analyzed ($1,107), while apartments in Urbandale have the cheapest rents ($813). 

The national average rent in March went up by 3.2% year-over-year

The early beginning of the rental season saw rent prices increase by 3.2% over the year — the lowest annual growth we’ve seen in more than 6 months. Compared to last year’s figure, the March average national rent of $1,430/month is $44 higher. Month-over-month, however, we witnessed a 0.3% rise, or $4 more added to average rent prices. This is consistent to last spring’s growth levels, signaling the end of the sluggish winter season.

Renting in Iowa’s cities in March 2019

The average rent in Iowa’s largest cities is generally lower than the national average rent. The fastest growing rents in March were in Des Moines, where rental apartment prices increased by 1.6% over the year, $14 more per month.

Ankeny apartments saw the second highest annual increase, jumping by 0.6%, $7 more expensive than the same month last year. However, if we look at rent changes in the past 5 years, Ankeny saw the highest rent increase in the entire state — up by 23% since 2015.

In West Des Moines and Johnston, rents nearly flatlined since last March (0.4% y-o-y increase and 0.4% y-o-y decrease, respectively). Prices dropped most in Urbandale, where average rents decreased by 3.1%. That translates into renters paying $26 less on rent per month compared to a year ago.

Rent Trends in Iowa March 2019

Of the cities analyzed, Ankeny apartments are the state’s most expensive for renters, with an average rent of $1,107 per month, followed by apartments in Johnston, where the average monthly rent is $1,100. On the flipside, the cheapest cities to rent an apartment are Urbandale ($813) and Des Moines ($896).


RentCafe is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.

To prepare the state rent report, we analyzed only cities with a rental stock of at least 2,000 apartments in 50+ unit buildings. To compile the national rent report, RentCafe’s research team analyzed rent data across the 253 largest cities in the U.S., in large-scale apartment buildings with 50 or more units.

Rent data was provided by Yardi Matrix, a business development and asset management tool for brokers, sponsors, banks and equity sources underwriting investments in the multifamily, office, industrial and self-storage sectors. Rental rate coverage is for Market Rate properties only. Fully Affordable properties are not included in the Yardi Matrix rental surveys and are not reported in rental rate averages.

Fair use and redistribution

We encourage you and freely grant you permission to reuse, host, or repost the images in this article. When doing so, we only ask that you kindly attribute the authors by linking to or this page, so that your readers can learn more about this project, the research behind it and its methodology.

Alexandra Ciuntu
Alexandra is a creative writer and researcher for RentCafe. With a background in e-learning content writing and a passion for knowledge-sharing platforms, she's covered topics from prop-tech to renters insurance to interior design tips. Very familiar with the renter lifestyle herself, Alexandra enjoys researching and writing about renter demographic shifts and residential real estate market trends as much as she loves writing about how to get along with roommates. You can connect with Alexandra via email. Alexandra’s work includes collaborations with financial and business publications. Her articles have been featured in several national and international online publications, including the New York Times, Barrons, Inman, Forbes, Architectural Digest, Marketwatch, Bisnow, and Curbed. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Japanese and English and an M.A. in Journalism and Cultural Studies.

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