The Des Moines real estate market is somewhat internally inconsistent, with a wide variety of different signs and statistics pointing in opposite directions for different portions of the market. The entirety of the Des Moines real estate market suffered rather severe damage following the arrival of the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and was hurt even further after the beginning of the nationwide recession. It seems that the majority of the residential real estate market in Des Moines has begun to recover in recent months, at least based off of foreclosure rates and home sales. In contrast, the commercial sector of the Des Moines real estate market is in crisis, and all signs indicate that things will not get better any time soon.

A July 14, 2009 article in the Des Moines Register found that home sales in Des Moines real estate were almost at the same levels that they were at last year, although the same report indicated that sale prices declined substantially. The article, written by Donnelle Eller, said that “Homes sold in the Des Moines metro area in June nearly matched last year's sales, a new report shows, but foreclosures contributed to the average sale price falling nearly 5 percent...June home sales totaled 779, three shy of the 782 homes sold in June 2008, a report from the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors Monday showed.” The association also found that sales in the month of June were 12.2 percent higher than just a month earlier.

According to a July 16, 2009 article published on the news station KCCI 8 Des Moines,  “Relentlessly rising unemployment is triggering more home foreclosures, threatening the Obama administration's efforts to end the housing crisis and diminishing hopes the economy will rebound with vigor.” Another article, published on July 22, 2009 found that “The residential housing market went into a tailspin over a burst housing bubble and a whole lot of bad mortgages. The commercial real estate market has suffered a different sort of one-two punch.” It continued to state that experts believe that a near term turnaround is highly unlikely.