Building Costs Per Square Foot in the State of Iowa, USA

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Iowa 274 Greenwood PI Waukee IA50263 - 2 Bed and 2 Baths with 2 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 1312 sqft - Built in 2022 - Price $229,000 (2)

Newly Built Home in Iowa 274 Greenwood PI Waukee IA50263 – 2 Bed and 2 Baths with 2 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 1312 sqft – Built in 2022 – Price $229,000 (2)

Residential Construction Market Analysis in the State of Iowa, USA

Building costs are 3% below the national average in the state of Iowa, and equivalent to the states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana and Utah. The state of Iowa or also known as Hawkeye State, as it is nicknamed in tribute to the Black Lynx Indian chief, belongs to the Midwest region, Central Northwest division, and the Great Plains Zone, with ideal land for agriculture. Des Moines is its capital, and Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, and Waterloo stand out as its most important cities, and in total it reaches a population that barely exceeds 3 million inhabitants, making it one of the states with the least population.

If you are looking for peace and quiet then Iowa is for you: it is one of the states with the lowest population density (ranked 31st currently), there are no big cities, no skyscrapers that block the view, and you will have the typical all American lifestyle that you expect from a midwest state.

It may not be a state that attracts many investors, but it is perfect if you are looking for a place to buy your family’s next home. In this article, we will dedicate ourselves to talking about the real estate market in this state, its prices, what the constructions are like, and much more.

Iowa Construction Outlook

Houses in Iowa are usually exactly what you imagine houses in rural areas to be: with wooden external walls, but they are usually reinforced with some type of insulation to face the winter. Although heavy snowfalls rarely occur, the severity of winter is often increased by high winds that generate blizzards and prolonged very cold spells. That is why it is essential that the constructions are prepared to insulate people from that incessant cold.

In Des Moines there are only a couple of tall buildings, the rest are small that do not exceed 10 floors, so you can always look at the sky without any problem. Iowa is characterized as a state with a large rural population, who lives on ranches or in wooden houses on the outskirts of large urban centers.

Iowa Housing Market Analysis and Forecast

The trend in the national real estate market is quite discouraging, as US home prices are currently the highest in history, and in many places, it is impossible to find real estate for sale. The shortage of supply is also linked to the increase in the cost of the American mortgage. Fortunately, smaller states like Iowa offer a haven from this madness.

When it comes to Iowa, the median price of existing homes on the market rose 15% in February from a year ago, which is good for sellers and investors, but not so good for families. It is expected that in 2022 the prices will increase by 12% by the end of the year, showing stable and safe growth. What experts say is really helping Iowa is the fact that a significant group of Hispanics is leaving the states they have historically hosted to move to others, and one of the most chosen is Iowa. This creates demand and the market does not collapse.

Something that affects everyone is that the lack of inventory continues, there are fewer and fewer houses listed, making the competition more fierce. Compared to last year there are 1,000 fewer houses listed, but the demand did increase, and that’s where the price rise comes from. In any case, there is nothing to fear, now when we talk about the prices of median homes in Iowa, you will see that even the price spike is not that worrying either.

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Iowa Average House Price (Median Home Price)

The price of the average house is $260,000, understanding that an average house one that has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, a garage, and a small garden. Keep in mind that this value is a statistical average for the entire state, so it may be higher or lower depending on where you are.

Many people think that since Des Moines is the capital of the state then it is also the most expensive city, but this only happens in the edgiest neighborhoods of the city, in the others, the prices continue to be quite cheap, especially when compared to those of other states. In the outskirts of Des Moines, you can get houses with more than 4 bedrooms and all the comforts for $200,000. Prices go down even more in Sioux City and Davenport, although they are not recommended places for investors.

If you are looking to live there then they are picturesque and friendly places, but if you want to invest it will take a long time to make a profit, and it may not be that good. For investors who are looking to go big, Des Moines is a good idea.

Proposed Residential Building Projects in Iowa

In Iowa, there are a wide variety of projects to build condominiums. Condominiums and Multi-Family homes are what’s coming in this state as it attracts the new people that are coming. Do not expect to see mansions and luxury houses, that is something that is not in Iowa. Here are modest houses, but cozy inside, ready to receive and be the forever home of the family that chooses it.

There are no building projects, just a few in Des Moines but not higher than 10 stories. One of them is in Iowa City, in Johnson County, in the vicinity of the state university campus. Due to the pandemic, the university reduced the number of students who can live on campus, which made investors see the possibility of generating profits there.

Iowa 6129 NE-Sherman Drive Ankeny IA-50021 - 5 Bed and 5 Baths with 3 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2731 sqft - Built in 2022 - Price $820,000 (6)

Newly Built House in Iowa 6129 NE-Sherman Drive Ankeny IA-50021 – 5 Bed and 5 Baths with 3 Attached Garages on Gross Floor Area 2731 sqft – Built in 2022 – Price $820,000 (6)

Building Costs Per Square Foot for Single Family Homes in the State of Iowa, USA

Building costs are 3% below the national average in the state of Iowa, and equivalent to the states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana and Utah.

Class 1 – Luxury Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for luxury private homes in Iowa ranges from $334.54 per sqft to $512.84 per sqft, with the average being $394.81 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 2 – Semi Luxury Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for semi-luxury private homes in Iowa ranges from $203.32 per sqft to $311.66 per sqft, with the average being $239.94 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

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Class 3 – Best Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for best-standard private homes in Iowa ranges from $131.44 per sqft to $199.64 per sqft, with the average being $153.88 per sqft. As the bar chart shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 4 – Good Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for good-standard private homes in Iowa ranges from $95.92 per sqft to $147.10 per sqft, with the average being $113.21 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 5 – Average Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for average-standard private homes in Iowa ranges from $77.86 per sqft to $119.24 per sqft, with the average being $91.81 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

Class 6 – Minimum Standard Single Family Homes

The building cost per square foot for minimum-standard private homes in Iowa ranges from $61.41 per sqft to $94.13 per sqft, with the average being $72.44 per sqft. As the bar graph shows below, bigger homes with a large gross floor area have the lowest building costs per ft2, and smaller homes with a small gross floor area have the highest building costs per ft2. Medium-sized homes are somewhere in between. Generally, the building cost per square foot decreases as the size of the house gets bigger, and increases as the house gets smaller.

List of 19 Metropolitan Areas/Cities in Iowa – Percentage Deviation of the City/Town Building Cost from the National Average ($X), in Descending Order:

There are 949 municipalities and 551 special districts grouped into 99 counties in the state of Iowa. The bar chart below indicates that building costs vary in each metro city/town. The construction cost per square foot in each of these metropolitan cities varies from the state and national average by a certain percentage based on the location factor also known as the local modifier.

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The percentage deviation of building costs from the National Average for each metropolitan area in Iowa is shown below.

If $X is the Average National Building Cost in the USA, then it will cost the following to build a residential property in each metro city/town in Iowa:

Iowa Average -3% (3% less than X)

  • Shenandoah 516 -14%
  • Carroll 514 -11%
  • Decorah 521 -8%
  • Sheldon 512 -7%
  • Spencer 513 -7%
  • Ottumwa 525 -6%
  • Cedar Falls 506 -4%
  • Dubuque 520 -4%
  • Fort Dodge 505 -3%
  • Mason City 504 -3%
  • Waterloo 507 -3%
  • Council Bluffs 515 -1%
  • Burlington 526 1%
  • Cherokee 510 1%
  • Creston 508 1%
  • Davenport 527-528 1%
  • Cedar Rapids 522-524 2%
  • Des Moines 500-503 5%
  • Sioux City 511 5%

The Metropolitan Area List above as well as the Bar Graphs below shows that Shenandoah is the cheapest city to build a private home in the state of Iowa. Sioux City and Des Moines are the most expensive cities to build a home. Building costs are -14% below the national average in the city of Shenandoah. Property development costs are 5% above the national average in Sioux City and Des Moines.

Cheapest Places To Build in Iowa:

Shenandoah is the cheapest to place to build at -14% below the national average, followed by Carroll at -11%. The third cheapest place to build is Decorah at -8% below the national average. The fourth cheapest cities to build a house are Sheldon and Spencer City at -7% below the national average, followed by Ottumwa City at -6% below the national average. Building costs in Cedar Falls and Dubuque are -4% below the national average. Building costs in Fort Dodge, Mason City and Waterloo are -3% below the national average, and equivalent to the Iowa state average. The cost of building a house in Council Bluffs is -1% below the US average. Residential building costs in Burlington, Cherokee, Creston and Davenport are 1% above the US average. The cost of building a home in Cedar Rapids is 2% above the national average.

Expensive Places To Build in Iowa:

If anything between 5% and 10% is considered expensive, then there are two such metropolitan areas in the state of Iowa. Home building costs in Sioux City and Des Moines are 5% above the US average.

More Expensive Places To Build in Iowa:

If anything between 10% and 15% is considered more expensive, then there are no such metropolitan areas in the state of Iowa.

Very Expensive Places To Build in Iowa

The most expensive places to build a house in the USA are those 15% above the national average. There are no such places in Iowa.

Iowa State Average Costs:

Private home building costs in the state of Iowa are -3% below the US average. Building cost rates in the metropolitan areas of Cedar Falls and Dubuque are closer to the Iowa state average by a deviation of 1%. Construction costs in the cities of Fort Dodge, Mason City and Waterloo are equivalent to the state average. Sioux City and Des Moines are the most expensive cities to build a home in Iowa, and the state of Iowa is number 18 on the national ascending costs scale.


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