Report: Ankeny is the Most Expensive Place to Rent in Iowa

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ANKENY, Iowa — A new report released by Rent Café shows Iowans where to find the most expensive and most affordable places to rent.

The report found that Ankeny is the most expensive place to find an apartment and the recent spike has happened fairly quickly. Over the last five years, the average price for an apartment in Ankeny has jumped by 20 percent.

Here is a list of Iowa communities and the average dollars per month for rent:

Ankeny, IA $1,123
Johnston, IA $1,114
Waukee, IA $1,083
West Des Moines, IA $979
Altoona, IA $958
Norwalk, IA $935
Des Moines, IA $906
Council Bluffs, IA $905
Clive, IA $843
Urbandale, IA $836


Clive is seeing the biggest drop in rent. Over the last five years, prices dropped by $115 per month.

Des Moines itself is in the middle of the pack at $906 a month, but even that is too expensive for a lot of young renters.

“I mean Des Moines is my home, I don’t really think of it as being a big bubbling metropolis but it’s kind of getting that way and I think the rent prices are definitely reflecting that for sure,” said Anna VanMaanen.

VanMaanen works downtown at AllSpice. She said she lucked out and found an affordable apartment on the north side of town, but living closer to work was out of reach if she wanted to keep her lifestyle.

“I still want to be able to take vacations and eat out and do the things I want to do. Finding that balance can be kind of tricky, especially if you don’t have any control over the rent prices,” she said.

For some Iowans, just making rent can be tricky.

“For people who are earning, let’s say 30 percent of what’s typical in the area, there are about twice as many people looking for a place to live in our market as there are apartments that are affordable for that population,” said Matt Hauge, communications director for the Community Housing Initiative.

Hauge says if a family is dedicating most of their money to paying rent, they suffer elsewhere.

“We need to think about the fact that transitions in housing when families can’t afford the rent, kids are pulled out of school, they go through multiple transitions, it impacts how healthy our families are, it impacts their wellbeing at many different levels,” he said.

In order to afford the rent of an average two-bedroom apartment in the metro area, the renter needs to make $17.50 an hour.

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