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Where do renters come from? End up?
Published January 18, 2013
In the past five months, 67,000 people moved into our state. Almost two-thirds of them moved to the Puget Sound region. That's 42,500 people setting up new households in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap, and Thurston counties. That's a lot of potential apartment demand. These are estimates, based on driver license data. And these numbers don't take into account the people without driver licenses or those who moved out of our region during the same period.
Driver license data shows 150,000 people with driver licenses moved to Washington last year and 43,000 moved out, or about 30%. Based on that relationship, it is clear there has been significant net in-migration this year. It would be nice to know where they are settling down, because that will impact housing demand, rents, and vacancies. And it would be nice to know where they came from, particularly if you want to focus your marketing efforts to attract them to your property.
Apartment rental demand relies to a significant degree on in-migration. Conway Pedersen Economics forecasts net migration quarterly. The Puget Sound Regional Council also provides information about net migration. Although it would be helpful in anticipating rental market trends, we are not aware of any source that updates real net migration information on a monthly basis.
However, the state's Department of Licensing (DOL) publishes a monthly report on the number of people moving to our state who hand in their driver licenses from where they moved from. DOL also keeps track of the number of Washingtonians who moved out and handed in their Washington license in the states they moved to. Deducting these from the out of state licenses turned in gives us an idea of the net change. This isn't a perfect measure, but it has two big features: it is real information, and it is current.
This graph shows where people moving to our region in the past few months settle down.
Here's a look at where people move over a longer period of time. On average, almost 48,000 people with driver licences move into King County each year. And it is clear this is a growing trend. Over 13,000 a year choose Pierce County, 10,000 select Snohomish County, and 5,000 to 6,000 people a year settle in both Kitsap and Thurston counties. These trends should help investors understand housing demand differences and trends between our region's counties.
The next five graphs focus on where people came from. first we looked at the five states that were the biggest sources of in-migration to each county last year. This information should help property managers focus their marketing attention effectively. It was the same group of states for all five counties: California, Texas, Oregon, Florida, and Arizona. But they were not always in the same order. Here are the in-migration trends for those states since 1999.
Be sure to check back next week for a new discussion of current apartment trends for the Puget Sound region.
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Be sure to check back next week for a new video and discussion of current apartment trends for the Puget Sound region. Here are some other recent articles you may find interesting:
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