Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in Iowa


Home to the famous "Bridges of Madison County" and birthplace of John Wayne, Iowa is also the location of the largest cereal company on earth. Located in Cedar Rapids, the Quaker Oats Company was founded in 1901 with the merger of four oat mills. In addition to these other distinctions, Iowa is also the only U.S. state name that begins with two vowels. Approximately 3,090,416 people call Iowa home, according to the U.S. Census. Des Moines is the largest city and has a population of 207,510. With 88,729 housing units, this city has a homeownership rate of 63 percent and a median home value of $118,600. The median household income ($44,862) is $6,267 less than the median household income for the state ($51,129). Almost 27 percent of Des Moines residents live in multi-unit structures compared to 18.4 percent of residents across the state. With a population of 128,429, Cedar Rapids is the second-largest city. It has a median home value of $131,300 and a median household income of $52,242.

In 2010, Iowa was listed sixth best state in the nation by CNBC's list of Top States for Business. It ranked number one for "Cost of Doing Business", with low taxes, utilities, and other business related expenses. Manufacturing contributes over $20 billion each year to Iowa's gross state product and is the largest sector of the state's economy. Known for its agriculture, Iowa's largest manufacturing sector is food processing. The state has just 55 people per square mile. It is in cities like Cedar Rapids, with 1,784 people per square mile, that there is so much demand for shopping centers and multi-unit housing.

Office Rental and Executive Suites in Des Moines, IA

How to Become a Realtor in Iowa

In Iowa, real estate agents and brokers are licensed and regulated by the Iowa Real Estate Commission. This commission allows applicants to be under the age of 18 when they take the licensing exam, but the applicant must be 18 when they apply for a license and they must apply for a license within six months of passing the exam. Applicants are ineligible for an Iowa real estate license if their application for a real estate license has been rejected by any state in the twelve months prior to applying for their Iowa real estate license. Applicants must successfully complete 60 hours of pre-license classes. They must also pass a complete background check. The background check may take up to 10 weeks to complete. It is allowable to apply for a real estate license prior to the completion of the background check. The Iowa Real Estate Commission may deny the license of any person who has been convicted or a crime in Iowa or any other state if the commission feels the person may pose a risk to the welfare of the public.