In last year’s market overview for the 2014 Iowa real estate market, we wrote that this state’s local housing market was one of the few actually maintaining stable growth throughout the last 2 years. The 2008 recession hit most local housing markets pretty hard: the real downward effects of the recession were actually only visible towards its end (in 2010 and a bit into 2011 as well for most states and markets). From 2012, a very slow recovery started for the majority of state housing markets nation-wide. That’s why being a state with a relatively good and stable housing market was quite rare in 2014 and why Iowa had a strong economic base to build upon as far as real estate goes.
But what did Iowa do with this good starting point this year, how does the 2015 Iowa real estate and housing market predictions look like? If you have your stakes in this state’s economy, you will be pleased to know that the overall economic climate of the state has continued to grow, and its real estate market reflects it as well. The CNBC top of 2010 has ruled Iowa to be the sixth best state for business nationwide, and unemployment also continues to be much better than in the rest of the states. As for the Iowa real estate, it experienced an increase of 2.2 percent since last year, according to Zillow experts, and the same source’s housing market predictions indicate an expected 2.9 percent further increase until the next year. This means this market will continue to remain a strong and reliable investment in the future as well. We’ll take a look at the specifics right below, in the list of influencing factors for the Iowa market.
Influencing Factors for the 2015 Iowa Real Estate Market
- The median home value, according to Zillow experts, is currently at $128,100 (2.2% higher than the median home value of last year). This median value indicates the fact that half of all listed homes in Iowa have values a little lower than $128,100, while the other half of homes are worth a little more.
- As for the median rent price for Iowa, it is currently situated at an attractive $1,050 per house and $0.95 per square foot, making any investment in local housing a profitable prospect. Most of the rentals happen via the Craigslist Iowa For those of you interested in buying and selling Iowa real estate properties, you should know that the median sale price for all homes sold this year is $149,800. Per square foot, the median sale price is $116. Out of all home listing prices, only 12.7% of them end up being cut up a bit (discounted) and sold for a little less than the original ask.
- The Zillow experts rate the Iowa real estate market with 9.8 out of 10 health rating, which obviously means it’s a very good economy for housing transactions. This is also reflected by the percentage of homes with a negative equity (only 13.6%, whereas the national average is at about 15.4%), as well as the percentage of delinquent mortgages (only 3%, which is about half of the expected ‘normal’, if compared to a national average of 6%).
- The economy of Iowa overall is looking good. As of March 2014, the rate of unemployment is at only 4.4% (while we all know how severe this problem can get in the rest of the states), and manufacturing seems to be the strongest suit of this economy (with a little over 20% of all gross revenue), followed by agriculture.
- Also, the state economy consists of many, many other branches other than manufacturing and agriculture, but we won’t go into all the details here since it doesn’t directly relate to the Iowa real estate. What is relevant, though, is that experts assess that it was precisely this great economic diversity that has helped the state tackle the post-2008 recession in a better way than most states (and countries) were able to do, thus directly contributing to the strong and valuable real estate market we have here today.
Best Places to Live in Iowa
The hottest real estate market in the state is currently in Iowa City, as it could have easily been predicted. (Don’t you just love it when a market behaves all nice and predictable, in a good way?) The Iowa City IA real estate comes with a staggering median home sale price of $177,700 and a median home value of $188,000 (according to data provided by Zillow indexes). This reflects a 3.2% increase during the past year, and there’s also a 3.3% further increase predicted by the middle of the next year, so good things will very probably keep coming for this local housing market.
The capital of the state isn’t in this real estate paradise, though, but in Des Moines. The Des Moines IA real estate is looking pretty good itself, with a median home value of $110,600 and an overall housing market increase of 1% during the past year. According to Zillow Des Moines predictions, the local housing market will continue to rise by 2.6% in the next year as well, making it a stable attraction for home owners and investors alike. The median rent price here is also attractive enough to warrant investment, currently estimated at $995 (and with a median rent price of $1,145 for the Des Moines Metro area).
Still, we would advise caution in this area, since the overall housing market health isn’t looking that good: there are 6% homes with delinquent mortgages (just as much as the national average, but double the average value for the state), and there are also 14.7% homes with negative equity. According to the Trulia Des Moines real estate overview, the market is healthy and looks promising, with a 1.5% increase in the average listing price ($124,587) and a corresponding 1.6% increase in the median sale price ($130,000). But their data for the transactions which took place through their website acting as intermediary shows a drop in the number of all sales for the area (a 37.8% drop, so a quite consistent one), which may indicate that the market is indeed valuable, but a little over-saturated.
The Cedar Rapids real estate is looking pretty good itself, with a median home value of $131,100 (according to Zillow estimations). This is a bit lower than last year, the marked having had suffered a 2.9% decrease, but the housing market predictions for the area indicate an expected rise of 2.3% in the next year, so things will get back on the right track soon. The median renting price here is of $1,137, a bit below the national average of $1,376, but things are very likely to rise in the near future in this department as well.
As for the Dubuque real estate, the Zillow calculations indicate better tidings. With a median home value of $134,500, the Dubuque IA housing market is situated at a comfortable 3.1% rise from mid-2014 and there is also a predicted further 2.7% rise bound to happen until the middle of next year. Things couldn’t look better for home owners and potential investors alike, especially since the health of this market seems to be good and stable (8.2 out of 10 Zillow rating). Only 8.0% of homes have negative equity and there are only 2.5% delinquent mortgages, and only 2 homes foreclosed out of 10,000. The median rent price in Dubuque is currently at $1,124 and the rent price in the Dubuque Metro area is $1,164. There’s been a minor slow fall in rent prices in the past two months or so, but nothing to be worried about (yet).
Last, but not least, the Davenport IA real estate is looking pretty good as well. Even though the market wasn’t spectacular to begin with, there’s been a slow increase of 0.2% in the past year and another 3.1% increase is expected to take place in the next year. The current median home value in Davenport is of $116,600, and the median rent list price is $950. The actual sale and renting prices may look a little different, though: the rents, for example, are reported by Zillow to be at $1,093 for Davenport and $977 for Davenport Metro (this is a peculiar and rather rare situation where the metro rent price is lower than the one in the city). As for the sales here, the median sale price for a Davenport home is $136.900, and $112 per square foot. The market health is estimated to be high, with a Zillow rating of 7.3 out of 10. This means that there are only 12.4% homes with negative equity (whereas there are 15.4% at a national level), and 4.6% delinquent mortgages (compared to a 6.00% national average). No sudden drops in prices are expected either.