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Redfin and realtor.com remove crime data from listings

By Mike Wheatley | December 18, 2021

Redfin and realtor.com say they’re removing crime data from their home listings amid growing concern that the statistics could help to perpetuate racial inequity.

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Redfin Chief Growth Officer Christian Taubman said in a blog post his company is taking a stand against crime data being included on real estate websites. He said it feels, after surveying users and evaluating that research, that the data does not provide accurate answers to questions regarding the safety of an area around a home. In addition, he said that given the long history of redlining and racist housing covenants in the U.S., there is a danger that such inaccurate statistics could reinforce racial bias.

Taubman explained that since most data on crime is culled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, it mostly reflects reported crimes only. That means crime data on listings typically exclude unreported crime or those that are reported but go unsolved.

“The fact that most crimes are missing creates a real possibility that the crimes that do show up in the data set skew one way or another,” he explained. “And the fact that most reported crime goes unsolved means that some of the crimes being reported in fact may not be crimes.”

As for realtor.com, it said it was removing its crime map from search results in order to “level the playing field”. It said it is reassessing what safety means to buyers and renters and what information it should share about it on its listings, going forward.

Realtor.com Chief Executive David Doctorow said the company will work to “reimagine how we integrate safety data on realtor.com” and that its goal is to “ensure we are providing consumers with the most valuable, fair and accurate neighborhood data”, so they can make informed decisions on where to buy or rent a home.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected]
  • 4 comments on “Redfin and realtor.com remove crime data from listings”

    1. As an aging adult looking for my retirement home I want to feel safe in the neighborhood. I use the crime stats and data to focus in on neighborhoods I will feel safe in. Now that Realtor and Redfin do not offer me this option I have to do the foot work and ohysically visit the neighborhood or just call the local police department. I want to live in an area where I can safely walk during the day or night. Crime stats are not black/white/latino- will no longer be using these services. Will call my insurance company since they will set rates based on crime or call the police department. This is information that should be easily and readily available so people can make an informed decision and base price we are willing to pay for a property.

    2. My family and her parents are leaving California for Arizona after my kid graduates high school in May. I have been using Realtor.Com to gather information. This will be 2 home sales (California) + 2 purchases (in AZ). Crime data is VERY IMPORTANT for the move. I have been HEAVILY using Realtor.Com. But with no crime mapping + data, why bother? I will be closing my account and will never use Realtor.Com (or Redfin) again. Good luck with your BLM alliance!

    3. "Taubman explained that since most data on crime is culled from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, it mostly reflects reported crimes only. That means crime data on listings typically exclude unreported crime or those that are reported but go unsolved.

      “The fact that most crimes are missing creates a real possibility that the crimes that do show up in the data set skew one way or another,” he explained. “And the fact that most reported crime goes unsolved means that some of the crimes being reported in fact may not be crimes."

      As a former municipal, county, and retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer, I can honestly say your reasoning for excluding this data and depriving your customers of this information is one of the most asinine decisions I've heard. Your perceived Wokeness is going to get someone killed and that blood will be on your hands.

      1. Indeed, everything is politicized these days. Plus, it's not like it's difficult to sell these days, regardless of the local neighborhood.

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