What are the best tools for market analysis?

7 Replies

I have the luxury of being able to relocate anywhere in the country for real estate investment. I'm thinking the best place to go would be one that conforms to the 2% rule and still has appreciation potential down the line. 

Does anyone have some good tips on how to do proper market research? I'm not sure where to find the data to do the proper analysis over large areas.

I know that Marcus & Millichap put out some good reports. City-Data is great also. I think one of the best tools is this site called BiggerPockets :) You can network with some investors local to the markets you're looking in, to get some real boots on the ground information.

Thanks for the city-data tip, I've known all about that forum but never thought to post there :)

@Gary Clisele   On city-data you can look at the crime, population, median property value, household income for the area.  It is a starting point.  Rentometer.com is also helpful.  You can look at crime maps on neighborhoodscout.com.  On Trulia you can see the schools ratings for the neighborhoods and the crime.  I am not sure how accurate the crime information is but it can rule out areas that are a definite no.  I don't know if these sites are based on monthly numbers or a yearly avg and also how old is the data.  I would be curious to know if anyone has more knowledge.

@Gary Clisele  

When you do pick a particular city, I suggest going to the city government website and checking out their economic development plans. You can also find demographic, employment, population growth data, etc. (some of this can be found via City Data as well but may be more up to date from the city). It also depends on what your investment niche is. As a buy and hold investor targeting B and C+ areas, the market data I look at might be different from a luxury house flipper or spec builder for example.

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