Redfin assigns ‘Opportunity Scores’ to properties in partnership with ‘The Opportunity Project’

  • Redfin’s “Opportunity Scores” offer high marks to properties within a 30-minute car-less commute of lots of jobs.
  • They can help families find more affordable homes without sacrificing their job prospects.
  • The ratings tend to knock suburban affluent neighborhoods down a peg, but could also magnify stigmas attached to already-distressed communities.

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In partnership with a White House initiative, Redfin has unveiled property ratings designed to help consumers pinpoint homes that offer short, low-cost commutes to lots of jobs. Redfin's "Opportunity Scores" are meant, in part, to promote economic mobility, though whether they actually do may be a matter of debate. How are properties scored? Redfin assigns "Opportunity Scores" to properties based on the number of jobs they have access to via 30-minute, car-free commutes. A score of 100 represents a home with the most job access. Scores are weighted by population to account for competition. In addition to showing scores for individual properties, Redfin offers a bird's eye view of local "opportunity" by displaying opportunity score heat maps. Users who look up a particular address see bubbles on the heat maps that encircle all of the territory containing jobs within a 30-minute commute by public transit or on foot. The scores naturally favor urban areas and...