Where Are Homebuyers Flocking?

ATTOM Data Solutions has released its Q2 2017 Pre-Mover Housing Index, which shows that the markets with the highest pre-mover indices during the second quarter — predictive of strong sales activity in the third quarter — were Colorado Springs, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; and Lexington, Kentucky.

Using data collected from purchase loan applications on residential real estate transactions, the ATTOM Data Solutions Pre-Mover Housing Index is based on the ratio of homes with a “pre-mover” flag during a quarter to total homes 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 (see full methodology below).

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The top five markets — among 122 total metro areas analyzed for the report — all posted a pre-mover index above 200, or twice the national average. Other markets in the top 10 for highest pre-mover index in the second quarter were Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida (198); Kingsport-Bristol, Tennessee (195); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (191); Jacksonville, Florida (189); and Charleston, South Carolina (188).

Among the same 122 metro areas analyzed for the report, those with the lowest pre-mover indices in the second quarter were San Francisco, California (31); Rochester, New York (32); Honolulu, Hawaii (36); Providence, Rhode Island (44); and Grand Rapids, Michigan (46).

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“Markets with a healthy mix of access to good jobs and relatively affordable housing attracted the most interest from pre-movers in the second quarter, a harbinger of strong home sales activity in the third quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Meanwhile in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets, there was more pre-mover interest in outlying counties further away from jobs but with more affordable homes to purchase. We see this pattern playing out in places like Denver, New York, Seattle, and Southern California.”

“With increased equity positions across Southern California, we have noticed an increasing phenomenon of the use of reverse mortgages, as well as increasing inventory of single family home rentals,” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California housing market. “Consumers are leveraging home equity into cash for retirement, as well as investment returns, in purchases such as single family home rentals.”

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Using data collected from purchase loan applications on residential real estate transactions, the ATTOM Data Solutions Pre-Mover Housing Index is based on the ratio of homes with a “pre-mover” flag to total homes in a given geography, indexed off the national average. Any 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. 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 that is provided in the pre-mover data, and 76 percent sell within 90 days of that settlement date.