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If I were a lender whose strategy focused heavily on VA loans, where might I want to focus my resources in 2017? Let’s take a look at the Top 10 VA markets ranked according to purchase dollars in Table 1.
It’s not surprising that some of the largest MSAs occupy the list. What is surprising, however, is a relatively smaller MSA, Virginia Beach, is ranked second. As a lender interested in VA opportunity, I would like to know more about this particular market. To do more research, I turn my attention to a map of the Virginia Beach MSA, as captured in Map 1.
As a lender, I have taken an important step in identifying where, potentially, I would like to focus my efforts. Some additional research reveals the U.S. Department of Defense is the largest employer in the market1, which corroborates some of the ranking. Once I have determined I would like to explore Virginia Beach further, the problem becomes where would I spend most or all of my resources? Where within Virginia Beach would I get my best ROI?
To get a better idea of where to locate my MLOs and/or branches physically, I would need to dive deeper into the market and look at it at the county level, as captured in Map 2.
Based on the legend, I can now narrow my focus further to the two red counties: Chesapeake City and Virginia Beach City. However, Chesapeake City is 351 square miles while Virginia Beach City is 497 square miles. Is there a way to further narrow each county? Yes, by zooming in and looking at each market at the census tract level, as detailed in Map 3!
Based on Map 3’s legend, each red census tract represents at least $30 million in VA purchase opportunity. As a lender, I can now be laser-focused in my strategy of going after the VA market in the Virginia Beach MSA. I can do additional research on which specific locations to open branches, place, MLOs, and specific areas or zip codes in which to execute my marketing strategy. The opportunity is there for the taking.
1 Source: Virginia Employment Commission, Economic Information & Analytics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), 3rd Quarter (July, August, September) 2016.