US Census and other Research

3 Replies

while listening to a podcast I came across a great quuuuiiiick TIP from a guest about using the information on the census for finding out about home ownership and multi families in certain areas. How have some of you veterans or other newbies utilized this information and what other tools are great for research?  Happy discussing!

@Mike Higgins  

I am a big fan of this approach. I think there is a wealth of great public data, it can give a quick snapshot of an area in ten year intervals, and historically.

I actually used some census data as referenced in this post. It was basically a comparison of Realty Trac's best rental markets vs. population growth in the area. General conclusion: Florida looks really nice for investment. This is something I was not really thinking of, initially.

@Trevor Ewen  would the same be used when looking at areas to flip vs buy and holds?  I was looking in Atlanta (where the last podcast guest was from) and her market had a much higher multi family number and less home ownership. Which made sense for but and hold 

@Mike Higgins  

I have not done any flips, but here is my assumption. Your timeline is inevitably compressed, because you are essentially looking at the market that exists within the calendar year. In that regard, you want your flip to be in a place that is growing, now. 

As a buy and hold, I could accept low (even small negative) growth numbers in an area that has good fundamentals. When I originally posted that article, many of the Ohio investors were a little surly, because it put their markets in a bad light.

Like anything, this is a factor that can help you test an assumption about a market, but it's not everything. 

Big cities tend to run high on renters. In part because cities like Atlanta, NY, LA, Chicago breed transience, and also have all income brackets. I still think there is a huge market for buyers in an area like Atlanta. The percentages are lower than in Green Bay. I would assume that's also because Green Bay does not see that kind of revolving door of people that Atlanta does.

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