THE COUNTRY WAS CLOSELY WATCHING THE HAWKEYE STATE LAST MONTH FOR THE RESULTS OF
THE PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUS. BUT THERE ARE LOTS OF OTHER REASONS TO KEEP AN EYE ON IOWA.
The state is ranked seventh in the nation for personal income, which grew by 2.5 percent in first-quarter
2011 and 1.5 percent in second-quarter ’ 11. after a dip in 2009, per capita personal income rebounded
to $38,084 in 2010. With crop values high this past year, farming made a significant contribution to
the increase in personal income growth, according to the bureau of Economic analysis. Iowa cropland
values increased 31 percent year-over-year this past third quarter.
In addition, 24/7 Wall St., an online financial-news service, named Iowa as one of the five best-run
states in the U.S. More than 90 percent of Iowans 25 years and older have at least a high-school
diploma and only 9. 3 percent of people are without health insurance. The state debt per capita is $2,117,
the 13th lowest in the country.
The housing industry is beginning to rebound, as well. New single-family units authorized by building permits are holding steady, with 4,960 issued this past October compared to 4,990 in October 2010. Permits
for multifamily units increased 34 percent in the same period, according to the U.S. Census bureau.
Home Sales and Prices
IO WA HOME SALES AND AVERAGE SALES PRICE
The housing market in Iowa has begun to pick up, according to recent
figures from the Iowa association
of realtors. This past November, the
state had 2,406 closed home sales,
a year-over-year increase from the
2,134 sales in November 2010. The
average sales price in the state also
is showing signs of recovery from its
low point in 2009 when it reached
$136,730. This past November, the
average sales price was $139,029.
Nov ’07 Nov ’08 Nov ’09
Average sales price ($)
Nov ’ 10 Nov ’ 11
Source: Iowa association of realtors
In addition, the National association
of realtors (Nar) reports that total sales of single-family homes, apartment condominiums and co-ops in
Iowa increased 33 percent from third-quarter ’ 10 to this past third quarter. Statewide, 53,200 sales were
made this past third quarter, compared to 40,000 in third-quarter ’ 10.
IOWA MOR TGAGE DELINQUENCIES
This past third quarter, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on
residential properties in Iowa was
5.91 percent, a decline from the
6. 46 percent recorded in third-quarter ’ 10, according to the Mortgage
bankers association (Mba). The
state also is well below the national
delinquency rate of 7.99 percent.
Source: Mortgage bankers association *Includes: Ia, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD
Total past due 30 days 60 days 90-plus days
Iowa West North Central Region* U.S.
The percentage of loans in foreclosure in Iowa was 2.82 percent this
past third quarter, which ranked
it 31st out of the 50 states plus
Washington, D.C., the Mba reports. The national rate of loans in foreclosure this past quarter was
4. 43 percent.
Iowa has the eighth-lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. although the national unemployment rate
was 9 percent this past October, the state’s unemployment rate was 6 percent, a slight decrease
from 6.2 percent in October ’ 10. Iowa added 13,200 jobs year-over-year, with the biggest gain coming
from the manufacturing sector, which added 6,800 jobs. This past October also marked the first time in
nearly two years that Iowa had fewer than 100,000 unemployed workers.
These numbers still represent a marked increase from the state’s unemployment rate before the
economic crisis, however. In October ’07, Iowa’s unemployment rate was merely 3. 9 percent.
3 Areas to Watch
The capital city’s housing market is starting to
rebound. This past November, home sales increased 18 percent from November 2010. The
median sales price of existing single-family
homes also increased from $156,600 in third-quarter ’ 10 to $157,900 this past third quarter.
IOWA CIT Y
The first U.S. city to be named a UNESCO “City of
Literature,” Iowa City is among CNNMoney.com’s
25 best places to retire. Home to the University
of Iowa and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the city
boasts a rich history and a booming arts culture.
The average home sales price was $180,390 this
The median home price in the Waterloo-Cedar
falls metropolitan area climbed to $118,100 this
past third quarter, a 6. 8 percent increase from
third-quarter 2010. ranked 10th on Forbes’
best Small Places for business and Careers,
the area’s proximity to the Cedar river has led
to industrial growth. In addition, Cedar falls is
home to the University of Northern Iowa.
WhAT ThE LOCALS SAY
“residential real estate is holding its own. We’ve
continued to decline in permits, but we’ve hit
the bottom. Central Iowa is the economic engine
of the state, but we’re seeing improvements in
other parts because of the agriculture economy,
which is very strong right now. The perception
of Iowa is [off]. Many don’t realize there are so
many things that make it attractive. really, we’ve
got a pretty strong economy with a lot of jobs.”
— RICK TOLLAKSON, pRESIDENT AND CEO, huBBELL REALT Y
sources: 24/7 Wall St., bureau of Economic analysis, CNNMoney.com,
Des Moines area association of realtors, Des Moines Register, Forbes,
Iowa association of realtors, Iowa City Press Citizen, Mortgage bankers
association, National association of realtors, U.S. Census bureau, U.S.
Department of Labor