Is your area crawling with criminals? New index tells you

Criminal offender index is set to be integrated into Home Disclosure and
  • A new index shows the local concentration of registered criminal offenders, which usually reflects only registered sex offenders, but may also include other types of offenders.
  • RealtyTrac, which has created the index, plans to integrate it into Home Disclosure and
  • ZIP codes with high concentrations of offenders tend to have low home values and high foreclosure rates, though the connection between offender density and home appreciation rates is more nuanced, RealtyTrac found.

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You might expect people researching properties and neighborhoods to be most interested in learning about local home values, schools, foreclosures or environmental hazards. But folks tend to focus most on another type of information, at least when it's available: the identities and locations of local sex offenders. That's what RealtyTrac has discovered, having observed the behavior of users of neighborhood data website and property report provider Home Disclosure, both of which are operated by RealtyTrac. That finding has inspired RealtyTrac to release the "Home Disclosure Registered Criminal Offender Index," which measures the local concentration of sex offenders -- and in some states, other sorts of violent offenders as well. RealtyTrac plans to complement the crime rates and existing sex offender data on and in HomeDisclosure reports with the index, which would mark the latest type of sensitive data to be mixed into online real esta...