Markets are always in motion.
Population, economic growth, demographics … these factors and more affect the supply and demand for every property you own.
Without understanding market metrics, investing is like reaching into a lake and hoping you pull out a fish.
But WITH market metrics … the savvy investor can spot trends and opportunities … and bag a winning catch!
Listen in as we explore how to make market metrics work for you.
In this episode of The Real Estate Guys™ show, hear from:
- Your metric-master host, Robert Helms
- His laugh-master co-host, Russell Gray
Broadcasting since 1997 with over 300 episodes on iTunes!
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Crystal balls aren’t real, but market metrics are
Every market is different.
Every city … every neighborhood … even every street has unique attributes of real estate.
When we look at real estate, we’re dealing with many different kinds of markets … niche markets, geographic markets, and demographic markets.
Real estate isn’t a typical asset class. Every deal is unique.
You can choose to throw a dart at the map and buy a property … or you can study market metrics and identify trends.
Most of the information readily available to investors isn’t local … it’s national or state data.
As an investor, you need to learn to take that higher-level data, look at both sides of the equation, and break down what it means for you.
We don’t have a magical crystal ball … but we do know that we can spot important trends if we pay attention to key metrics … and so can you!
Deciphering national statistics
Let’s start by talking about days a property stays on the market.
The National Association of Realtors recently announced that residential properties remained on the market for an average of 36 days in March 2019 … which was down from 44 days in February 2019.
What does this mean for the newbie real estate investor trying to figure out if this is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?
This is the perfect example of national statistics that give a false impression when you focus on the market at a local level.
Someone in the Bay Area may think that 30 days on the market is forever … but to someone else from Kansas, that seems like selling in record speed!
Remember to dig deeper and look at both sides of the equation. Think about what other factors could be creating this metric.
Imagine that fewer people were listing their homes … that would mean that there were fewer houses available.
If there are fewer houses available but the same number of buyers … then the number of days spent on the market is going to go down.
On the other hand, if there are more sellers than buyers … then homes are going to spend more time on the market.
Three crucial metrics for real estate
Depending on the information you’re after, you pay need to attention to different metrics.
To get a good amount of information, you need a big statistical set.
That’s why most of the data that you read is going to be relating to a bigger group of properties than really affects your market and your property every day.
News pundits often talk about average home price and median home price. These are two different things with very different meanings.
If you have a list of 101 sales that happened last month, the sale in the middle of the list … number 51 … is the median price.
So, if you have the numbers two, five, and seven … the median is five.
And if you have the numbers two, five, and fourteen … the median is STILL five. Median price is NOT the same as the average price.
Another important metric to understand is net in migration.
People are always moving in and moving out of markets. Net in migration means a market where more people are entering than leaving.
More people means more demand for schools, services, shopping, and … housing!
It may seem like a rudimentary concept … but it is essential. If people are leaving a market, demand goes down and so do prices.
Dallas, Texas, is the perfect example of putting a market with net in migration to work for investors.
After the 2008 financial crisis, investors were forced to look at markets differently … and up until this time, Dallas had been boring.
The market had the least appreciation of markets on our radar … but after 2008, stability started to look really, really good.
Dallas had a winning combination of affordability, low income tax, vibrant infrastructure, and diverse economy.
The energy sector was a huge player … and it was one of the few industries that remained solid after 2008. As people moved in for jobs, demand grew.
Now, a decade later, we look at the net in migration, and Dallas has an additional one million residents since we first started looking into the market.
Look to the future
Some of these concepts may seem basic … but in real estate, it’s easy to fall asleep at the wheel. Real estate really does move slowly.
But when you see the headlines, you may feel like the wind is changing fast … and you need to act or be swept away.
Don’t panic. You have time to get in position, study a market, and build relationships.
Keep your focus on the basics … supply, demand, and capacity to pay. Every metric impacts these basic principles of real estate investing.
We can all look at the past and act on what we learn here in the present … but we need to look forward too.
As investors, we ultimately have to take our best educated guess. Market metrics give us the information we need to do our due diligence and act in the best way we know how.
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