Greater Des Moines' steady population gains have fueled an apartment boom downtown unlike any before, CBRE|Hubbell Commercial reported in a newsletter from Vice President Rick Krause and sales associate Cy Fox.  

The population of the Des Moines metropolitan statistical area grew 2 percent in 2016, an increase of 12,145 residents, the United States Census Bureau estimates. That growth rate ranks 34th in the country out of 382 metros. As of July 1, 2016, metro Des Moines boasted a total population of 634,725. That has shown up in vacancy rates during an apartment-building spree, the developers wrote. 

"The vacancy rate has more than doubled in the central business district, rising from 2.1 percent to 4.3 percent. In the western suburbs the vacancy rate increased from 4.3 percent to 6.6 percent," they wrote. "In 2016, when vacancy was at 2.1 percent in downtown Des Moines, millennials looking for apartments downtown had to settle for an apartment in the western suburbs. ... Some local developers have slowed multifamily construction out of fear that too many units are coming on the market. We know that Des Moines will continue to grow and that there will be demand for more apartments. The question is whether the development will moderate to match demand. Near-term absorption will be important for this market to maintain its health. Over the longer term, however, Des Moines is poised for positive economic fundamentals to continue and the apartment market to remain vibrant."