Written by Louis Wilson on 07/11/2019
Realtor.com provides a quarterly report on the cross market demand of various metro areas. The goal of this report is to examine metro areas receiving out-sized interest from external sources, such as people looking to invest or move there.
More specifically, the report examines the number of views of listings on realtor.com. Using Austin as an example, the index measures the number of views of listings in Austin from users outside Austin. It would compare that number against the number of views of listings outside of Austin from users in Austin. The first number estimates the level of interest in moving to Austin (inbound interest) while the second number estimates the level of interest in leaving Austin (outbound interest).
Having a higher inbound/outbound ratio is indicative of net population growth. It is also indicative of out-of-town investors looking for undervalued markets that they expect to become valued in the near future. In general, this metric is very sticky. Areas with a higher ratio are more likely to increase than decrease in the future. In short, hot areas get hotter and cold areas get colder.
The San Antonio-New Braunfels region was named the most improved market in the United States. In Q1 2018, its inbound/outbound was balanced at 1.0. In Q1 2019, this ratio skyrocketed to 1.8, meaning that almost twice as many people are now looking to move to San Antonio than are looking to leave.
San Antonio's inbound demand mainly came from other cities in Texas. Almost 28% of inbound traffic came from Houston, while another 12% came from Austin. While the number of people interested in San Antonio has increased, the amount of people trying to leave has also decreased. Compared to Q1 2018, there was a 9.5% decrease in the amount of outbound interest, the largest drop of any market in the top 10.
While San Antonio had the largest increase in its inbound/outbound ratio (+0.8), the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX area came in second with an increase of 0.5. The only other state with multiple cities in the top ten was Florida, with Lakeland (4th), Daytona Beach (6th), and Palm Bay (9th). I guess people are growing sick of cold weather and state income taxes!
Realtors.com: Q1 2019 Cross Market Demand Report