Aiming to provide as much relevant information about the local housing market in a format that is easy and reliable, Zillow just rolled out Zillow Market Snapshot reports; allowing its users full access to valuable and timely data, giving a rundown of what is currently happening in local metro areas across the US.
The Zillow Market Snapshot provides a fast and informative overview at the current status of both the rental and homeownership markets, and the reports will be produced in conjunction with the monthly and quarterly Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.
The Rentals Snapshot provides a quick overview of the market at the metro, city and neighborhood level. The report allows for comparisons of key data points, including the Zillow Rent Index (ZRI), over time between the national, metro and city levels. Additionally, these rental reports feature the breakeven horizon, which is the number of years you must live in a home before owning the same home becomes more financially advantageous than renting the home. The second page of the report provides similar statistics for more cities and neighborhoods within a given metro.
The Real Estate Snapshot follows the same layout, providing national, metro and top five city Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) information in the left bar. Zillow also includes the percentage of homes with negative equity and forecasted ZHVI at the national and metro levels. The map shows the annual changes in ZHVI by city. It also provides vital statistics of the metro’s real estate market broken down in many different ways. For example, users can see how many homes are increasing in value and historical information about the housing peak.
Zillow has from the very start been all about data. The company recognised the value that providing rich data could deliver to establishing consumer engagement and in someways getting the consumer ‘hooked’ on property values with Zestimates.
This fixation with data has grown to a point now where the Zillow property reports are treated with the credibility akin to the legendary Case Shiller Index. Such stature and credability which brings with it media attention could never be compared to advertising and is invaluable to brand building. These new reports provide a local insight and assistance to home shoppers as sellers, buyers or renters.
There are other examples around the world – Rightmove produces their Home Price Index and I modeled the NZ Property Report as a mirror of that report for NZ. Portals are rich in critical and valuable data – data that can be monetised in reports and analysis but also can be disseminated in media rich monthly reports that speaks volumes to a leading position as a subject matter expert in the industry.
Data is a key topic of the forthcoming Property Portal Watch conference – join us for the event in San Francisco in July.