by Ingo Winzer

e normally focus on job creation as the best indication that a market is suitable for investors because jobs lead to population growth, which leads to higher demand for housing. But local markets can prosper in the absence of population growth if local income keeps growing because of changes in the local economy. There might not be demand for more housing but there will be demand for better housing. In such markets, investors can focus on higher-value properties or, even better, can rehab lower- cost properties to higher-rent values. Our list of ten markets ripe for this sort of self- improvement includes some with good job growth in the past year, some without. Demand, as measured by the recent increase in home prices, is in the moderate range — we don't want boom markets — and the ratio of home W

prices to annual rents is below 23, which means you don't need to subdivide properties. Growth isn't everything if you have self-improvement. Our Investors Metro Monitor shows you the risks and opportunities in 200 markets across the country, at •

Ingo Winzer is president of Local Market Monitor, which analyzes conditions in 300 U.S. markets, using such economic data as home values and growth in employment and population. Winzer, who has analyzed real estate markets for more than 20 years, was a founder and executive vice president of First Research, an industry research

company that was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet in March 2007. He is a graduate of MIT and holds an MBA in finance from Boston University. Winzer resides in Cambridge, Mass.

90 | think realty magazine :: april 2020

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