Today, ATTOM Data released its Q1 2018 Pre-Mover Housing Index, which measures the volume of the population in a housing market most likely to move within the next quarter. Those pre-movers display certain “flags,” as ATTOM Data researchers refer to them, indicating that they are likely to change residences. The index is set so that a measure of 100 is the national average and indicates a market where the average number of residents are likely to move in the next few months. Measures higher than 100 indicate a larger population with pre-mover status and an above-average ratio of homes likely to be sold in the next 90 days. Measures lower than 100 indicate a below-average number of homes likely to be sold and a smaller population of pre-movers.
The researchers determined that Colorado Springs, Colorado, residents were the most likely to move in Q2 2018, followed by Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire, and El Paso, Texas (indices of 280, 213, and 213, respectively). Washington, D.C., ranked fourth on the list with a score of 208, followed by Orlando, Florida, with an index reading of 201. Las Vegas, Nevada, scored a 199, placing it seventh on the list. Nevada scored highest for pre-movers as a state, however, with a score of 200. It was followed by Delaware (163), Florida (159), Colorado (154), and Virginia (149).
“The pre-mover index provides insight into which markets are poised to see a high percentage of homeowners moving this spring and which markets are likely to see a high percentage of homeowners staying put,” observed Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. He added, “Markets with a high pre-mover index tend to be in areas where homes are still somewhat reasonably priced and have a growing job market, allowing for greater upward mobility.” On the other hand, Blomquist said, “Markets with a low pre-mover index tend to be in areas with a struggling job market or with home prices that are out of reach for the average wage earner.”
The same study identifies how many homes with a pre-mover flag are being purchased as investment properties and designates these properties “investment property pre-movers.” Nationally, 5.3 percent of all homes with a pre-mover flag in Q1 2018 were being purchased as an investment property, with the highest levels of investment activity noted in Memphis, Tennessee (21.4 percent). “The pre-mover data shows that Memphis continues to be one of the hottest investment markets in the country,” said Douglas Skipworth, co-founder of Crestcore Realty, a Memphis-based brokerage. “Our high rent prices compared to the purchase price of rental properties makes Memphis unique from other parts of the country,” he added. Santa Rosa followed Memphis with 13.9 percent, then Indianapolis, Indiana, with 12.7 percent.