Redfin has added a new tool to its arsenal aimed at helping home buyers and renters assess a potential neighborhood. Opportunity Score is a rating that measures the number of jobs within a 30-minute, car-free commute from a given address.
The tool, which rates on a scale of 0 to 100, incorporates employment data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, transit network data from Walk Score and housing data from Redfin. An Opportunity Score of 100 represents a home with the most job access, with scores being weighted by population.
Redfin, the Seattle-based national real estate brokerage, says affordability is only part of the equation when searching for a home. Opportunity Score — which joins Walk Score, Bike Score and Transit Score — takes into account modern commute styles and access to jobs. (Redfin acquired Walk Score in 2014.)
“Where you live can have enormous implications for your family’s economic stability and upward mobility,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said in a news release. “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 chances to get ahead.”
As part of the release of Opportunity Score — available in more than 350 U.S. cities — Redfin ranked the country’s most populous urban areas according to their score ratings. San Jose, Calif., is the most accessible city for workers without a car, with a score of 70. Milwaukee (63) and Albuquerque, N.M. (59) are next. Seattle is 18th on the list with a rating of 36.
Plugging in my own street address in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood — roughly 25-30 minutes to downtown Seattle by bus — returned an Opportunity Score of 85, with 51,013 jobs paying at least $40,000
The tool was developed as part of Redfin’s contribution to Opportunity Project, a White House initiative “encouraging technologists to use open government data to develop tools that can improve economic mobility for all Americans.”