TurboTenant Report: The Best Places to Buy Rental Investment Property in Iowa

best places for rental investment in iowa

In this edition of The TurboTenant report, we will be focusing on the best places to buy an investment property in Iowa. Two towns made our list: Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. We curated data from studies on the best places to buy an investment property, median sale prices, and proprietary TurboTenant data. The TurboTenant Data includes stats on the average number of leads a rental property received, as well as the average number of days on the market. These two points will help an investor determine the strength of the rental market, as well as estimating potential vacancy rates. 

Rental investment properties are as golden as the corn from Iowa! This Midwest State was a key piece of land from the Louisiana Purchase – with a heavy agricultural economy, Iowa also thrives off of information technology and green energy production. The Hawkeye State has a well-known position in America for the vital Iowa Caucuses in the presidential primary season, the birthplace of sliced bread, and the Iowa State Fair, which is one of the biggest in the nation. It also has major universities such as Iowa State University, Drake University, and the University of Iowa – all top schools with NCAA Division I sports teams. You won’t be short on things to do in Iowa whether it’s historic sightseeing, attending a football game, or riding on many of the extensive bike trails. 

Our towns had positive numbers, median sales prices under $150k and rent under $1000 – let’s find out the best places to buy a rental investment property in Iowa.

#2: Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in the state and also the largest corn-processing city in the world. It’s a thriving city with a vibrant art community, a variety of restaurants, and fun nightlife. It is a great place to live and work as it’s home to around 300 different manufacturing plants and around two-dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Nordstrom and General Mills. Cedar Rapids has positive growth numbers and a median sale price of only $134k! You can’t beat the affordability in Cedar Rapids where rent is only $777. Landlords only have to market their properties for around 10 days and can expect an average of 24 leads per property – we’re coming for you CR!

  • Population growth: 1.5%
  • Employment growth: 1.3%
  • Increase in home values: 4.2%

Median Sale Price: $134k

Average Rent: $777

Average Number of Leads per Property: 24

Number of days on the rental market: 10

#1: Des Moines

Des Moines – where the s’s are silent and the things to do are endless. Des Moines is the fastest growing metro area in the Midwest. This city is known for its great restaurant scene, festivals, 800 miles of hiking and biking trails, and many minor league sports teams. As Iowa’s capital, Des Moines is a hub for business and culture – it’s a leader in insurance, manufacturing, and health care. With great public schools and neighborhoods, Des Moines is an excellent place for families – employment and population are both growing with an increase of 8.6% in home values! Median sale prices are only $144k with an average rent of $933 which is great for city-life and its amenities. Landlords won’t be disappointed with 48 leads per property and only 17 days on the rental market! It’s obvious why Des Moines earns our #1 town.

  • Population growth: 0.2%
  • Employment growth: 3.8%
  • Increase in home values: 8.6%

Median Sale Price: $144k

Average Rent: $933

Average Number of Leads per Property: 48

Number of days on the rental market: 17

Once you’ve landed the perfect investment property in a good location, TurboTenant can help take your landlording into the digital world by streamlining the rental process with easy and free online rental applications as well as thorough tenant screening so you can find the best renter for your property.

About the TurboTenant Report

The TurboTenant Report analyzes data from active listings across all 50 states, as well as third party real estate, population and employment growth data. Our goal with the TurboReport is to empower seasoned and novice investors to make wise purchasing decisions when purchasing a rental investment property. For more information or custom data requests, please contact [email protected].


In order to determine the best cities to invest in each state, we curated data from a number of reputable sources as well as using TurboTenant proprietary data. Our main city selections were taken from a study that evaluated four main factors for each city: employment growth, population growth, increase in home values and rental yield. We combined that with TurboTenant data on the average rent price, the number of rental leads per property, as well as the average number of days the rental stays on the market.

We also included an honorable mention where applicable. They are pulled from this study on the best places to invest in every state. These were determined using Zillow’s Buyer-Seller Index and Zillow Home Value Forecast, and AreaVibes’ Livability Score. Other methods for determining honorable mentions include using TurboTenant proprietary data to determine which cities return the best rental investment R.O.I. using data points including days on market, the number of leads per property, and average rent price.

DISCLAIMER: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.


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