Here at Information Central we are frequently asked for guidance from members looking for information on where people in their community are moving to as well as who is moving in. Generally members are either looking to prospect outside their local market or are looking to set up referral arrangements. Luckily our Research group has put together a great free member resource – NAR’s Relocation Reports. Please note: you will need to log in to realtor.org to see the member pricing ($0).
Data in the 10-page reports comes from the IRS, which tracks changes in location for individuals filing tax returns at the county level. As this is based on tax returns, it doesn’t capture 100% of the migration market. However, one could argue that it captures the part that is important for REALTORS® – those who file a tax return and could benefit from the mortgage interest deduction.
As with any government data, there’s a bit of a lag in updating. The most current data is from 2008, but even so, it paints an interesting picture of who is going where. Recently Forbes Magazine took the same data, creating an interactive map. Click on any county to see where people are going and where they are coming from. The broad brushstrokes of the map give a great overall sense of the life of a community. Here’s some interesting examples:
This is Cook County, Illinois, the home of Chicago. You can see that people are coming to the city from around the Midwest and the Northeast, while other people are fleeing the area to warmer climates in Florida and the Southwest.
While the city is still attractive to New Englanders, out-migration dominates for areas further west. Couple this data with the more detailed Relocation Report and you can paint a pretty compelling picture for marketing and prospecting in your area.