One of the trends I'm seeing out there is the rise of local and neighborhood statistical data connected to Real Estate search websites. While some amount of community-orientated stats have been around for years, new sites as well as industry staples are taking data to the next level.
A great example of where the trend of surfacing local statistics at a very granular level is the new homes search on findthebest.com. This site, which has been around for about three years, now displays home data sourced from a popular syndicator and really gets into the stats for each property. Everything from the deed records and school rankings to the weather/rainfall in the ZIP code is shown to the visitor in both list form and a narrative form.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the National Association of Realtors continues to fine-tune its Realtor Property Resource website, an online resource of local sale statistics for the use of its member agents and their clients.
The big-traffic sites such as Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com continue to retool their neighborhood statistic and property history functions to outmaneuver each other and respond to consumer feedback. From what I read on the blogs and discussions surrounding the rise of more and more specific hyper-local data, the majority of agents and super-majority of customers welcome it as an even better way to make decisions. For agents, these sites data help avoid difficult conversations with clients over schools and crime, topics close to the edge of violating Fair Housing regulations.
Even sex-offender data is starting to surface online, although few important industry sites are tackling that sensitive project as of yet.
We’ll be seeing much, much more of hyper-local data in the near future. Soon, I’ll predict, a home searcher will be able to see the locations of local crimes in addition to local home sales as they pull up a given property. They’ll see the number of sunny days for that street on average annually. They’ll see a detailed history of sales and loan refinances by the current owner as recorded publicly. They may even see the white pages records of the neighbors – who knows?
Big Data, meet Real Estate.