Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage recently launched Opportunity Score which is a rating of 0 to 100 and measures the number of jobs within a 30 minute, car-free commute from a given address. A property receiving an Opportunity Score of 100 will be a home with the easiest job access with scores being weighted by population.
At the moment Opportunity Score is available in more than 350 cities across the country. It is aligning to major trends influencing how people live today, as a shorter commute time is becoming a top priority for many workers in the United States. A lot of people do not want to have to rely on having a car to get to work or they may not even choose to own a car. Additionally, as housing becomes less affordable in urban areas, people who aren’t earning huge salaries tend to end up living much further away from their jobs in the city. This means people with the fewest resources can often have the longest commutes. Being able to find a place to live with easy access to lots of jobs within just a 30 minute commute is likely to be helpful to numerous workers.
Opportunity Score is just one of Redfin’s tools which include Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score. These all aim to give people a good idea of what it would be like to live in a particular neighborhood. When searching for a property, the price or rent is only part of the equation and having access to high-quality education and jobs and easy access to other amenities are also very important factors.
Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said “Where you live can have enormous implications for your family’s economic stability and upward mobility. A family may be able to find an affordable home to buy or rent, but if it’s far from quality jobs, highly rated schools and other amenities, it could hinder the family’s chance to get ahead.”
Eric Scharnhorst, livability analyst for Redfin and who led the development of Opportunity Score said “The bottom line is that everybody deserves opportunity. Our mission at Redfin is to make information about employment, home prices, transit access and other community characteristics easily available to help people make important decisions that can impact their families’ long-term economic futures.”
Opportunity Score is Redfin’s contribution to the Opportunity Project. This is a White House initiative encouraging technologists to use open government data to develop tools that can improve economic mobility for all Americans. Opportunity Score incorporates transit network from Walk Score, housing data from Redfin and employment data from the US Department of Commerce.