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Fort Dodge and Webster County, Iowa, have combined population of about 38,000, are experiencing exponential economic growth.

Cargill is opening a manufacturing facility in Fort Dodge (fall, 2013) that will employ 134 people; CJ Bio America, a Korean company that Cargill recruited to join Cargill in Fort Dodge is also building a $323 million new plant and will employ 180 people. It will begin production in the fall of 2013 as well.   Other existing industries in the area (Koch Nitrogen, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Calcium Products and others) are also expanding their facilities and increasing hiring.

This brings great opportunities to this region.

  • However, we are experiencing a housing shortage as residential construction has not kept pace meeting the growing demand for numerous types of housing: single family, multi-family, condominium and townhomes.
  • An important point to note:  Cargill’s market plan calls for the addition of other industries that utilize its products, similar to the communities, Blair, Nebraska and Eddyville, Iowa.
  • Cargill intends to follow the same market plan in Fort Dodge, thus demand for new housing will continue to increase in the future.

Due to this growth The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance and the City of Fort Dodge are working together to develop different ‘tools’ to stimulate the affordable housing construction market.  Recently the 2012 Residential Housing Market Assessment was released.  This assessment reviews Characteristics of the Fort Dodge Housing Market, Historical Market Activity, 2012 Market Activity & Initiatives, and 2012 Observations. 

Housing market full study

Below are a few statistics from the 2012 Housing Market Assessment

  • Historical sales information reports there are fewer homes sold between $130,000 -$200,000 yet this is the price range that will sell the fastest
  • 59.8% of housing units were built before 1960
  • The predominance of older housing units creates marked challenges in terms of maintenance, appeal, and amenities
  • During 2012, Fort Dodge realtors report that residential listings have declined while sales have increased from 2011 levels
  • 2000-2011 Building Permit data indicates a declining trend in the number of permits issued in Fort Dodge and Webster County, IA
  • The construction and development of agricultural-related business is helping fuel the housing demand in the region
  • Building permits issued in Fort Dodge have reversed their declining trend in 2012; activity is outpacing similar sized Iowa communities
  • The City of Fort Dodge has identified 21 different development sites in Fort Dodge, with 108 sites already platted with utilities available
  • 69% of the Fort Dodge market consists of single-family detached properties while only 12.4% of properties have five or more units