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April 2013

In-Migration patterns offer useful planning, marketing data

NWREporter April 2013

By NWREporter

April 2013

There is a lot of potential housing demand in the Puget Sound region, according to figures compiled by the state's Department of Licensing (DOL) and Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors.

A recent report indicates 67,000 people moved into Washington in the past five months, with about two-thirds of them choosing to live in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Kitsap and Thurston counties. The estimates are based on data in the monthly Washington State Drivers Report from DOL.

Annual figures from DOL indicate Washington had an estimated net in-migration of 104,000, with more than 146,000 people with driver licenses moving into Washington and around 42,000 moving out.

Using DOL data, Dupre + Scott analyzes where new residents settle to help anticipate housing demand and rental market trends. They also examine sources of in-migration to aid marketing efforts.

On average, almost 48,000 people with driver licenses move into King County each year. It is clear this is a growing trend, observed the authors of the Dupre + Scott report. They found more than 13,000 new residents a year choose Pierce County, 10,000 select Snohomish County, and 5,000 to 6,000 people a year settle in both Kitsap and Thurston counties. "These trends should help investors understand housing demand differences and trends between our region's counties," they noted.

The same group of states - California, Texas, Oregon, Florida, and Arizona - account for most of the in-migration, but not always in the same order. Last year, 44 percent of drivers who transferred licenses in Washington came from those five states:


  2012 in-migration % of total
Total Drivers In 147,674 100%
From California 25,619 17.3%
From Oregon 18,166 12.3%
From Texas 8,981 6.1%
From Arizona 6,601 4.5%
From Florida 5,627 3.8%


The latest Dupre + Scott breakdown by county can be viewed here. Patty Dupre and Mike Scott, the principals of the firm that bears their names, have conducted apartment market and investment research in the Puget Sound region since 1979.

Other organizations that analyze migration patterns include Conway Pedersen Economics and the Puget Sound Regional Council.