It’s possible to know where in the country more homebuyers will be moving over the next 30 to 90 days, thanks to what’s called a “pre-mover” index.
It turns out that the U.S. markets with the highest “pre-mover” indices during the third quarter — predictive of strong sales activity in the fourth quarter — were Colorado Springs, Colorado; Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; and Nashville, Tennessee.
That’s according to property database analysts at ATTOM Data Solutions, a California company that created the Q3 2017 Pre-Mover Housing Index by capturing data from loan applications on residential real estate transactions.
The index is based on the ratio of homes with a “pre-mover” flag during a quarter to total single family homes and condos in a given geography, indexed off the national average. An index above 100 is above the national average and indicates an above-average ratio of homes that will likely be sold in the next 30 to 90 days in a given market.
The top five markets — among 123 total metro areas analyzed for the report — all posted a pre-mover index of 196 or higher.
Other markets in the top 10 for highest pre-mover index in the third quarter were Reno, Nevada (189); Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida (188); Las Vegas, Nevada (180); Jacksonville, Florida (179); and Kingsport-Bristol, Tennessee (178).
Among the same 123 metro areas analyzed for the report, those with the lowest pre-mover indices in the third quarter were Rochester, New York (35); Akron, Ohio (47); Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (47); Providence, Rhode Island (52); and Cleveland, Ohio (52).
“Home buyers are most likely to move — and homeowners are more likely to move up — in markets with plenty of available jobs along with a reasonable supply of homes for sale,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Markets with this enviable and increasingly rare combination of jobs and housing inventory tend to be in secondary and even tertiary markets that are somewhat off the beaten path. Even in more mainstream markets, the counties with the highest pre-mover indices tend to be in outlying areas where more inventory is available or can be built.”
According to the firm, historical pre-mover data going back to Q1 2014 shows that 59 percent of homes with a pre-mover flag sell within 30 days of the estimated loan settlement date and 76 percent sell within 90 days of that settlement date.
The ATTOM national property database blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, health hazards, neighborhood characteristics and other property characteristic data for more than 150 million U.S. residential and commercial properties.
Pre-Mover Index Heat Map by County
The analysts looked at data by metro areas and also by counties. Some highlights from the ATTOM index:
Top pre-mover counties post lower unemployment rates, slightly weaker wage growth
Out of 331 U.S. counties analyzed for the report, 213 posted a pre-mover index above the national average in the third quarter. The average September unemployment rate in those 213 counties was 3.8 percent, compared to an average unemployment rate of 4.2 percent in the 118 counties that posted a pre-mover index below the national average in the third quarter.
Weekly wages grew 6.4 percent from a year ago on average in the 213 counties with a Q3 2017 pre-mover index above the national average while average weekly wages grew 6.5 percent from a year ago on average in the counties with a Q3 2017 pre-mover index below the national average.
Highest share of second home pre-movers in Myrtle Beach, Asheville, Daytona Beach
Among 123 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 single family homes and condos and at least 100 pre-movers in Q3 2017, those with the highest share of pre-movers indicating interest in second home purchases were in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (14.2 percent); Asheville, North Carolina (10.7 percent); Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (10.3 percent); Atlantic City, New Jersey (9.6 percent); and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (9.4 percent).
Highest share of investment home pre-movers in Memphis, Jackson, Boulder
Among 123 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 single family homes and condos and at least 100 pre-movers in Q3 2017, those with the highest share of pre-movers interested in investment property purchases were Memphis, Tennessee (29.9 percent); Jackson, Mississippi (13.7 percent); Boulder, Colorado (12.6 percent); Indianapolis, Indiana (11.0 percent); and Kansas City, Missouri (9.2 percent).
Counties with highest and lowest pre-mover indices in Q3 2017
Among 331 U.S. counties with at least 50,000 single family homes and condos and at least 50 pre-movers in the third quarter, those with the highest pre-mover index were Loudon County, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. area (304); El Paso County, Colorado in the Colorado Springs metro area (300); Prince William County, Virginia in the Washington, D.C. metro area (298); Will County, Illinois in the Chicago metro area (298); and Champaign County, Illinois (258).
Among the 331 counties analyzed for the report, those with the lowest pre-mover index in Q3 2017 were Wayne County, Michigan in the Detroit metro area (32); Queens County, New York (37); San Mateo County, California in the San Francisco metro area (40); Monroe County, New York in the Rochester metro area (42); and Stark County, Ohio in the Canton metro area (44).