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  • Writer's pictureZach Gendron

Breaking Down the Latest Migration and Jobs Data (January 2024 Insights)

Positive migration and job growth are two of the most critical metrics for real estate investors to analyze when determining specific locations to allocate their capital. These metrics can directly contribute to:


1. Increased Demand:

  • Rising Population: Positive migration leads to a larger population in an area, which directly translates to higher demand for housing units, including apartments.

  • Job Seekers: Job growth attracts newcomers seeking employment opportunities. These individuals likely need housing, further boosting demand for rental units.

2. Improved Financial Performance:

  • Higher Occupancy Rates: With more people looking for apartments, landlords are more likely to find tenants and keep their units occupied, leading to consistent income.

  • Potential Rent Increases: Increased demand creates opportunities for raising rents, especially in areas with limited housing supply. This translates to higher profits for investors.

3. Boosted Property Values:

  • Stronger Market: Positive migration and job growth contribute to a vibrant local economy, making the entire real estate market more attractive. This can lead to an appreciation in property values, benefiting long-term investors.

  • Reduced Risk: In areas with stagnant or declining populations and limited job growth, property values are more prone to stagnation or even decline. Monitoring these factors helps investors avoid such risks.


Based on this, let’s review the latest job and migration data investors should consider:


Job Growth


According to the recent data posted by RealPage, which tracks the markets with the biggest job gains in the last 5 years, Sun Belt cities dominate the charts, fueled by work-from-home migration and lower costs of living. 


Dallas/Fort Worth's metroplex tops the list, with both cities adding over 400,000 jobs in the past five years. Florida hotspots like Tampa and Orlando also shine, showcasing 11-13% job base increases. This southward shift marks a significant change, with traditionally dominant New York now lagging southern destinations.



Migration Growth


U-Haul, the iconic truck and trailer rental company, has released its annual U.S. Growth States and Cities report. The U-Haul Growth Index, based on net gain (or loss) of one-way equipment rentals, provides a valuable indicator of relocation trends. While not a direct measure of population or economic growth, it effectively gauges how well states and cities are attracting and retaining residents.

2023 Top 10 Growth States (2022 ranking in parenthesis):


  1. TEXAS (1)

  2. FLORIDA (2)

  3. NORTH CAROLINA (4)

  4. SOUTH CAROLINA (3)

  5.  TENNESSEE (6)

  6. IDAHO (10)

  7. WASHINGTON (23)

  8. ARIZONA (7)

  9. COLORADO (11)

  10. VIRGINIA (5)


Analysis: Texas retains the coveted top spot for states for the third year in a row. This consistent performance underscores the Lone Star State's economic strength and diverse opportunities, attracting residents from across the country.


2023 Top 25 Growth Cities (2022 ranking in parenthesis):


  1. PALM BAY-MELBOURNE, FL (4)

  2. OCALA, FL (1)

  3. CHARLESTON-NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (10)

  4. SARASOTA-BRADENTON, FL

  5. AUSTIN, TX

  6. COLLEGE STATION-BRYAN, TX

  7. CHARLOTTE, NC

  8. HUNTSVILLE, AL (9)

  9. DALLAS, TX

  10. MYRTLE BEACH-NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (17)

  11. KISSIMMEE-ST. CLOUD, FL

  12. PANAMA CITY-PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL

  13. NORTH PORT, FL (6)

  14. BOISE, ID

  15. WAKE FOREST, NC

  16. CONROE, TX (19)

  17. KNOXVILLE, TN

  18. SURPRISE, AZ (8)

  19. AUBURN-OPELIKA, AL (5)

  20. LAKELAND, FL (21)

  21. MURFREESBORO, TN

  22. WILMINGTON, NC

  23. QUEEN CREEK, AZ

  24. HENDERSON, NV (17)

  25. NAMPA, ID


Analysis: For the seventh consecutive year, Florida boasts the most top growth cities, with seven out of the top 25. This sustained dominance demonstrates the Sunshine State's enduring appeal, fueled by factors like warm weather, lower taxes, and a thriving job market. Compared to 2022's four top cities and 2021's ten, the 2023 numbers solidify Florida's position as a magnet for newcomers.


Conclusion


By closely monitoring positive migration and job growth trends, real estate investors can make informed decisions about the locations they wish to target. These factors directly impact demand, rental income, and property values, and can significantly influence the success of the overall investment.


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