Des Moines 3Q23
Multifamily Market Report


average rent


average occupancy rate


ytd sales volume


YoY rent change

-1.1 POINT

yoy occupancy change

10 YTD

individual transactions

Supply & Demand


257 Units

YTD: 337

320 Units

YTD: 819

Annual Demand vs Completions

2023 YTD
  • Planned
  • Pre-Planned

Demand Trends

  • In the third quarter of 2023, net absorption in Des Moines accelerated, with a total of 257 units absorbed, up from 140 units in the preceding quarter.


  • While this falls slightly below the seasonal average, it underscores the sustained robustness of the Des Moines apartment market.

Completion Trends

  • In Q3 2023, Des Moines added 320 units to its apartment inventory, with 267 units in the Northeast Des Moines/Ankeny submarket and 53 units in the West Des Moines/Dallas County submarket.


  • Over the last three quarters, the metro area’s apartment inventory has grown by 819 units, with the majority—more than half—situated in the Northeast Des Moines/Ankeny submarket.

Demand Outlook

  • Des Moines is projected to sustain its demand rebound through the next four quarters, with a total of 3,020 units absorbed by Q3 2024.


  • The West Des Moines/Dallas County submarket is anticipated to experience the most significant upside, with an expected net absorption of 1,832 units during the same period.

New Supply Outlook

  • The Des Moines apartment market is set for additional inventory growth in the upcoming four quarters, with a projected addition of 2,562 units.


  • Aligned with the heightened demand, the majority of new units (1,990) scheduled for delivery in this period will be situated in the West Des Moines/Dallas County Submarket.

Occupancy & Rent Trends



Average Monthly Mortgage Payment


Average Monthly Rent

* The Average mortgage payment is based off a median home sales price of $296,600 as reported by the Des Moines Association of Realtors as of Aug 2023.

Occupancy trends

Disparities between demand and the number of completed apartments resulted in a 110-basis point annual decline in occupancy, bringing the rate to 95.3% at the end of Q3 2022. Nevertheless, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, occupancy remained stable, and is projected to tighten in the coming four quarters as demand stabilizes. Despite the slight annual decrease, the current occupancy rate remains higher than the five-year average of 94.8%. Occupancy levels in Des Moines’ submarkets showed minimal variation, ranging from 94.0% in South Des Moines/Warren County to 96.2% in Northeast Des Moines/Ankeny. Similarly, there were slight variances with regards to product class, with Class B assets reporting an average occupancy of 95.8%, Class A slightly lower at 95.6%, and Class C at 94.6%.


In Q3 2023, Des Moines’ rent prices demonstrated healthy growth, exceeding both the national average and the market’s own five-year average. While there was a minor deceleration of 10 basis points from the prior quarter, the metro still posted an impressive 4.4% year-over-year rental rate increase. This figure markedly surpassed the national rate of 0.4% for the same period, as well as Des Moines’ five-year average growth of 2.5%. Submarket variations were notable: the West Des Moines/Dallas County area led the pack with a 6.3% increase, whereas the South Des Moines/Warren County area lagged at 2.0%. In terms of property classes, Class A units experienced the most significant annual growth at 7.5%, followed by Class B units at 4.4%, and Class C units at 1.9%.

Submarket Rent & Occupancy

SubmarketAverage OccupancyAnnual Occupancy ChangeAverage Monthly RentAnnual Rent Change
Northeast Des Moines/Ankeny96.2%-0.4%$1,2312.4%
Northwest Des Moines/Urbandale93.1%-1.6%$1,1235.1%
West Des Moines/Dallas County96.0%-1.1%$1,2016.3%
South Des Moines/Warren County94.0%-2.0%$8732.0%
Des Moines95.3%-1.1%$1,1544.4%

Units by Submarket Delivering in 2023


Number of Units Under Construction


Number of Units UC Delivering In the Next 4 Quarters

Units Under Construction

Northeast Des Moines / Ankeny - 722
Northwest Des Moines / Urbandale - 72
West Des Moines / Dallas County - 2,521
South Des Moines / Warren County - 0

Units Delivering Next 4Q

Northeast Des Moines / Ankeny - 500
Northwest Des Moines / Urbandale - 72
West Des Moines / Dallas County - 1,990
South Des Moines / Warren County - 0

Sales Activity

In the first three quarters of 2023, the transaction volume for single-asset conventional multifamily properties in Des Moines, IA, reached $110.4 million, registering a 10.0% increase compared to the same period last year. This growth was realized through a total of 10 individual transactions. However, this upward trend in transaction volume was accompanied by an 8.3% year-on-year decline in the average price per unit (PPU), which has now settled at $122,800.

  1. Abacus Capital Group
  2. Spruce Capital Partners
  3. BAM Capital
  1. Hubbell Realty Company
  2. Roers Investments
  3. Fireside Financial

*Most Active Buyers and Sellers are based on the sale volume of apartment units.


YTD Transaction Volume

Y-O-Y Change

Individual Transaction Count

Price Per Unit

Annual Price Change

* Trailing 4Q average PPU

* Preliminary Data from RCA – Individual transaction $2.5M +


In August 2023, the Des Moines metro area demonstrated steady job growth, with the addition of 6,000 new positions, representing a solid growth rate of 1.6%, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This growth was observed across various sectors, showcasing the region’s economic vitality. Leading the charge was the education and health services sector, which recorded an impressive growth rate of 10.5% by adding 5,400 jobs. Additionally, the government sector and the trade, transportation, and utilities sector contributed significantly, with the addition of 2,700 and 1,900 jobs, corresponding to growth rates of 6.2% and 2.5%, respectively. In total, nonfarm employment in Des Moines reached 391.3 thousand in August 2023. Furthermore, the city’s unemployment rate in May was a remarkably low 3.0%, notably outperforming the national average of 3.9%. This diverse growth across sectors, coupled with the low unemployment rate, underscores the region’s economic resilience and stability.


August Annual Jobs Created


August 2023 Employment growth


August 2023 Unemployment rate
3.9% us August rate

Top 5 Employment Sector Annual Change

education & health services

Education & Health Services

Change from August 2022 to August 2023:

Percent Change:



Change from August 2022 to August 2023:

Percent Change:

trade, transportation & utilities

Trade, Transportation & Utilities

Change from August 2022 to August 2023:

Percent Change:

Leisure & Hospitality

Leisure & Hospitality

Change from August 2022 to August 2023:

Percent Change:

other services

Other Services

Change from August 2022 to August 2023:

Percent Change:

Hover over icons to view data
SectorChange from Aug 2022 to Aug 2023 Percent Change
Education and health services5,400 10.5%
Government2,700 6.2%
Trade, transportation, and utilities1,900 2.5%
Leisure and hospitality700 1.9%
Other services500 3.8%
Manufacturing200 0.9%
Information100 1.6%
Mining, logging, and construction(900)-3.6%
Professional and business services(2,000)-3.7%
Financial activities(2,600)-4.6%

Cost of Living Comparison

Des Moines, IA, presents an affordable living option, boasting a Cost of Living Index of 87.2, which is 12.8% below the national average. The city offers housing that is notably economical, with a Housing Index of 71.5 and a median home price of $296,600 (a 3.0% YoY increase). In comparison to Boise, ID, Des Moines enjoys housing costs that are 40.5% lower, as well as lower expenses in groceries (1.8%), utilities (5.1%), transportation (22.6%), and healthcare (4.1%). While the average mortgage stands at $2,421, it’s worth noting that this is double the average rent of $1,154, making Des Moines an attractive choice for renters.

Boise, ID vs. Des Moines, IA
Cost of Living Comparison

1.8% Less

40.5% Less

5.1% More

22.6% Less

4.1% Less
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Cost of Living Index


Index Score

Average Mortgage


vs Average Rent: $1,154



Index Score



Index Score



Index Score

Median Home Sales Price


YoY Change: 3.0%

The “Cost of Living” index score provides a comparative assessment of the relative expense involved in maintaining a standard of living in a specific area, benchmarked against a national index score of 100.

Market Outlook

In spite of fluctuations in the national economy, Des Moines continues to showcase a strong and resilient economic landscape marked by a robust job market and consistent growth. Looking ahead to the next four quarters, we anticipate a return to typical demand levels, projecting an absorption of 3,020 units by 3Q 2024. This expected demand is set to surpass the incoming supply of 2,562 units, which includes the 3,315 units currently under construction for the same period. This situation is likely to result in an increase in the average occupancy rate, reaching 96.3% by the following autumn. Rent growth is also expected to remain stable, with a forecasted annual increase of 2.1% by 3Q 2024, showcasing the market’s resilience. While the introduction of new supply may introduce some fluctuations, these are expected to be mitigated by strong demand and high occupancy rates. As we enter the latter half of the year, the market outlook for Des Moines remains optimistic, with the city’s economy poised to sustain its robust performance, further solidifying Des Moines as a resilient and dynamic market.

Sources: RealPage; BLS; MSCI; Des Moines Business Journal; Economic Development Corporation of Des Moines

To Gain Further Insights Into The Des Moines Market Please Reach Out To Our local Team

BJ Connolly

Senior Director

Zach Schneider

Associate Advisor