Now that we’ve sorted through the basics of the open data initiative, we’re taking a closer look at open data usage across a range of industries. First up: open data usage in real estate.
Open Data Usage in Real Estate
What kinds of data in the open data initiative are impacting the real estate world?
For Home Buyers:
Home buyers are benefiting from a lot of open data sources. You’ve seen many of these already at play. School zoning and school achievement records have always been important. Now this information is easier to search and can be bundled right next to real estate listings. Housing sales history is part of public records, and open data sources keep buyers up-to-date. Sales history tells us more than just the last sale price. With sales history, we can tell how long the last owner owned a property to help us figure out if, for example, if the house has been renovated and flipped.
You’ve probably hopped onto real estate website Zillow at some point. They’re pretty far ahead at putting together a lot of this public data in one easy-to-search place. The company’s market value estimator couldn’t exist without putting together a lot of sales histories and market trends. Plus, Zillow is always expanding its search categories. In the future, the site may even integrate information like political campaign contributions to help buyers get a sense of neighborhood culture.
In the future, we may see even more data, including realtor commission information, and faster updates on pending sales. Plus, weather data, zoning regulations, or commercial property vacancies can be added to the pile to make home buying decisions easier.
Renters want neighborhood info like school zones and Walk Scores as much as buyers. Beyond that, renters are getting the benefit of new public data sets like Chicago’s Problem Landlord List. They can also get a sense of where the future of the rental market is headed with data like Denver’s Real Property Residential Characteristics list. It outlines the kinds of new buildings that are being created: single-family, condominium, or row-homes. Renters can figure out what kind of housing stock is available and if it is time to start planning to buy.
For Builders and Developers:
Construction companies can also benefit from public data sets. Using Building Permit lists, construction companies will be able to plan better. They can identify needed permits and also get a sense of how violations occur.
Toronto’s MapYour Property.com, for example, lets real estate developers get zoning and feasibility information all in one place. The company uses 50 different data sets with information like nearby property usage and environmental factors to offer a wide view in the real estate planning stages.