The average monthly rental rate for apartments in the Des Moines metro area grew 3.2% to $930 per month in the second quarter, a survey by CBRE|Hubbell Commercial shows.

In addition, the survey showed that the apartment vacancy rate fell to 6.8% in the second quarter from 8% in the first quarter.

The rising rents and shrinking vacancy rates come during a time when apartment construction is slowing. In the first six months of 2019, fewer building permits for apartments were issued in Des Moines-area communities than in the first half of 2018, a Business Record review of building permits showed. 

A housing study released in May showed that while just 2% of downtown workers live downtown, those who do tend to to rent apartments with two or more other people. The study also showed that more than 4,000 downtown workers earn less than $15,000 annually. That means if rents rise, many will be unable to afford apartment rents.

Hubbell Commercial’s survey said that construction of just one new apartment project was expected to begin in the second half of 2019 and just 828 new units were proposed through 2021. 

The survey showed that downtown Des Moines had the highest average rental rates, ranging from $889 per month for a studio apartment to $1,906 per month for a three-bedroom unit. 

The lowest average rates were in Indianola, where the average monthly rent was $405 for a studio apartment and $750 for a three-bedroom unit.

To read the survey, click here.