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A Break from the Past

New Data from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence

Post office delivery counts or address counts provide less coverage in rural areas. Sparsely populated areas tend to have post office box ZIP Codes because there are few rural addressing systems and little comparability to urban street delivery. The same problems characterize rural addresses in the Acxiom database. To track new housing developments, especially in areas that were previously unpopulated, Esri licensed a new data source from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, a residential real estate research and consulting services firm that tracks new and planned residential construction in 75 of the top housing markets in the United States.

The new residential construction database from Hanley Wood Market Intelligence adds a unique component to Esri's strategy for demographic forecasts. This database identifies individual construction projects, for instance, a complex of single-family homes or townhomes, or a condominium building, with exact location in latitude and longitude. It also pinpoints conversions of apartments into condominiums. The construction information includes

  • Total number of units planned
  • Inventory of units under construction, sold, and/or closed
  • Type of housing (e.g., detached homes, town homes, condominiums)
  • Target markets (e.g., families, seniors, empty nesters)

The use of this type of information in demographic forecasts has traditionally been confined to small-scale implementation such as producing forecasts for a specific county. Esri has partnered with Hanley Wood Market Intelligence to introduce this information in a large-scale forecasting effort. The new construction database complements and corroborates the postal delivery statistics. More important, it tabulates planned construction to be completed in the upcoming years. This information is incorporated into five-year forecasts. Tracking residential development since 2000 with enhanced tools for demographic and spatial analysis informs the 2011 forecasts more accurately than past trends.

A revised housing unit methodology applies the change in households estimated from address counts, delivery counts, and new housing construction to update household population by block group. The best techniques are derived from a combination of models and data sources. The integration of demographic and spatial analysis and the addition of the Hanley Wood data on residential development represent a break from past methods.


A couple of examples best illustrate the effects of address-based allocation and Hanley Wood data. The first example is the community of Stapleton, just east of Denver, Colorado. Previously the site of the Denver Stapleton airport, this community is now the largest urban development in the United States. The 4,700-acre site was opened for redevelopment after the airport closed in 1995. In 2000, it was still unpopulated—no people, no homes. Earlier methods could not automatically pick up the development of Stapleton. In 2006, the updates show the effects of ABA and Hanley Wood data.

The second example is the community of Buckeye, Arizona, in Maricopa County. Originally settled in 1888, this town has become home to two new Del Webb retirement communities, Sun City Grand (now sold out) and Sun City Festival. Previous methods picked up 33 percent of the growth in the developing block group after 2000. ABA accounts for approximately 75 percent of the new growth. Adding the information from the Hanley Wood database completes the picture.

The two maps accompanying this article display annual population change between 2000 and 2006 for the target block groups in Stapleton and Buckeye, respectively, along with surrounding neighborhoods. The growth in these developing areas stands out from surrounding block groups—and highlights the enhanced capability of Esri's geodemographic forecasting to pinpoint local change.

For further information, please contact Lynn Wombold at or 505-296-5938, or Edmond Ting at or 703-506-9515, ext. 8005.

About the Authors

Lynn Wombold
Lynn Wombold

Lynn Wombold is the director for data development for Esri. Her responsibilities encompass processing of Census 2000 data; development of unique databases like the demographic forecasts, consumer spending, and the ACORN market segmentation system; and the acquisition and integration of third-party data. She is also responsible for custom analysis and modeling projects.

With more than 31 years of experience, Wombold's areas of expertise include population estimates and projections, state and local demography, census data, survey research and consumer data. In 1988, she joined CACI Marketing Systems. Previously she was a senior demographer at the University of New Mexico. She holds degrees in sociology, with a specialty in demographic studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Awards she has received include CACI's Eagle Award for Technical Excellence and Encore Achievers. Wombold also holds memberships in numerous professional organizations. She also frequently presents papers on demography and has written numerous articles for industry publications.

Edmond Ting
Edmond Ting

Edmond Ting, who has been working in the marketing information industry since 1987, joined Esri in Vienna, Virginia, in 2003. As manager of data development, Ting's primary responsibilities include demographic estimates and forecasts as well as market segmentation.

In 1987, Ting was a senior demographer/statistician with CACI Marketing Systems in Arlington, Virginia, where he built the ACORN segmentation systems for both the United States and Canada. In 1994, he managed the Demography and Analytic Products group at Strategic Mapping Inc. (SMI) in Stamford, Connecticut. After Claritas acquired SMI in 1996, Ting managed Claritas' Statistical Services group that was responsible for various segmentation products including PRIZM.

In 1999, Ting joined Capital One Financial Corp. of Vienna, Virginia, to head a group of statisticians in account acquisitions for various lines of credit card business. He then joined IXI Corp. in McLean, Virginia, in 2002 to develop marketing tools for the financial and insurance industries using their proprietary financial assets information. He holds a master's degree in sociology from York University in Toronto, Canada.

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