Of the 331 counties that Attom analyzed, 213 are expected to have home sales above the national average during the fourth quarter, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based real estate data aggregator’s Pre-Mover Housing Index, a predictive measure of the upcoming quarter’s home sales activity.
The markets with the highest index values generally had lower unemployment rates, but slightly weaker wage growth than markets with below-average index readings. In the 213 counties with above-average index values, the average unemployment rate was 3.8%, compared to 4.2% for counties with below-average index readings.
“Home buyers are most likely to move, and homeowners are more likely to move up, in markets with plenty of available jobs along with a reasonable supply of homes for sale,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, in a press release.
“Markets with this enviable and increasingly rare combination of jobs and housing inventory tend to be in secondary and even tertiary markets that are somewhat off the beaten path. Even in more mainstream markets, the counties with the highest pre-mover indices tend to be in outlying areas where more inventory is available or can be built,” he added.
Weekly wages grew an average of 6.4% year-over-year during the third quarter in the 213 counties with a pre-mover index above the national average, while increasing 6.5% in those with a pre-mover index below the national average, Attom said.
Here’s a look at the 10 cities with the highest pre-mover index readings for the third quarter. The index values are based on Attom’s analysis of purchase mortgage applications on properties in a given area to determine the likelihood of a single-family house or condo being sold in the next 30 to 90 days. An index value of 100 is equivalent to the national average, while the percent changes to the index and median sales price are based on a year-over-year comparison.