Real Estate Markets Revealed in an Entirely New Way

real estate markets

A mapping tool introduced by Zimmerman/Volk Associates (ZVA) is providing a new way to look at market turnover. These at-a-glance statistics offer a quick look at local real estate markets with an interactive map that makes zoning in on any county in the U.S. a breeze.

You can try the map here.

Target Market Method

In 1990, ZVA set the standards of real estate market research when they introduced their target market method. They found that there was a need for this new method, as market research was failing to capture market demand accurately as it did not include “missing middle” housing types. The target market method includes migration and real estate mobility data for all counties across the U.S.

Household Migration

According to Chris Volk-Zimmerman, co-managing director at ZVA, the company wanted to have a way of measuring market turnover, looking at mobility and migration to determine how fast turnover occurs. Volk-Zimmerman says, “It shows the potential pace of change, or generally how fast new development can be absorbed.”

The demographics cover all 50 states and 3,142 counties. The reports cover five-year, state-to-state, and county-to-county taxpayer migration records. You can search by state and then use the highlighted area of the map to view the data, which includes the top three origin geographies in most cases.

How It Works

Each county on the map provides the following information:

  • Median household income
  • Number of households
  • State Household Absorption Index

Data shown is collected from the IRS and the American Community Survey, allowing you to compare markets for every county, parish, or independent city. Soon, the map will also provide data collected at the census-designated-place level for a national, state, and county index. That will give you a better overview of the relative strength of each county’s submarkets.

Maryland Overview

When looking at Maryland, Baltimore County shows the Median Household Income is $67,095 and the Number of Households is 312,900. The State Household Absorption Index is 90.81. Migration data for the area shows:

  • Baltimore, MD: 9,218 households (41.2%)
  • Harford County, MD: 1,480 households (6.5%)
  • Anne Arundel County, MD: 1,449 households (6.5%)
  • Total In-Migration: 22,391 households

These numbers can then easily be compared to, say, Anne Arundel County, where the Median Household Income is $89,860, the number of Households is 203,336, and the State Household Absorption Index is 101.80. Migration data for the county shows:

  • Prince George’s County, MD: 2,513 households (13.6%)
  • Baltimore County, MD: 1,640 households (8.8%)
  • Baltimore City, MD: 1,506 households (8.1%)
  • Total In-Migration: 18,542 households

Detailed Reports

If you want more information, you can receive a full report by clicking the “request” link that appears at the bottom of each county pop-up. They do charge a fee for this report, which includes information for the median home value, as well as the percentage of homes owned in the county.

You will also receive the following data:

  • National Internal Mobility Distribution Index
  • National External Mobility Distribution Index
  • National Aggregated Mobility Distribution Index
  • State Mobility Distribution Index ranked by market size
  • National Mobility Distribution Index ranked by market size

ZVA will be launching their finer grain map soon, with more upgrades planned on the horizon.

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