2011 Iowa Housing Market

The housing market hasn’t been great in Desmoines SkylineIowa since the nation’s economy started falling, but it just hasn’t been bad either. Markets are in balance with just a few months supply of housing inventory in most areas of the state. Iowa is one of those rare states that is forecast to actually see home price appreciation in all of its markets in 2011.

Foreclosures aren’t plaguing the state like many others, but banks are enforcing more foreclosures than they had been in Iowa’s largest city, Des Moines, where few bank assisted short sales or foreclosures impacted the market.

Flooding along the Mississippi River hurt the housing market again this year, but will also act as a driver to improve the real estate market over time as homeowners whose properties were inundated with flood waters and are unable to return to their homes buy elsewhere.

As a consequence of the flooding and a strong agriculture industry, Des Moines should see higher home sales over most of the year on forecast average price appreciation of 2.8% in 2011.

Home sales saw little change after the home buyer tax credit expired in Davenport, where local bankers are offering mortgages more agreeably than many other regions of the country. Perhaps that’s because Iowa hasn’t seen the major ups and downs in home prices that other regions have witnessed. Davenport average home prices are forecast to inflate 2.5% in 2011.

Sales in Cedar Rapids saw a sharp drop-off after the federal tax incentive expired. But home values should see a modest gain this year as a result of demand. Sales should also see an improvement over time as home buyers become more used to a changing marketplace. Cedar Rapids is forecast to experience average home price inflation of 2.0% this year.


Farming and particularly the corn crop with the production of ethanol is providing a healthier environment for Iowa City growers, who have seen their housing market stabilize compared to most of the country. Iowa City home prices are forecast to climb an average of 3.2% in 2011.

But in Sioux City things might be moving towards the best economy they’ve had in a number of years with a surge in new workers in the region. Real estate agents are selling fewer homes these days than during the market’s peak but sales should see an upturn on home prices that are forecast to rise an average of 2.4% before the years end.