Trick or Treat for a Community

Zillow released a “Trick or Treat” Housing Index last week for Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.  Their goal was to assess where a child could score the most candy with the least amount of walking and in a safe place. As they explained:

 [We used] four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score, and local crime data. Based on those variables, this Index represents neighborhoods that will provide the most candy, with the least walking, and minimum safety risks.

Pricey, wealtheir neighbourhoods generally didn’t score that high because of the amount of walking involved between houses and up lengthy drive ways.  By contrast, higher density neighbourhoods with older housing stock tended to do better.  For Seattle:

Wallingford offers the most bang-for-the-knock on Halloween night. The quirky neighborhood full of old Craftsman bungalows is home to residents of all ages, from retirees and college students, to young families with children. Wallingford has easy access to many restaurants, grocery stores, and theaters along 45th street. The ‘hood scored in the top ten percent for both walkability and density.

Would the Trick-or-Treat index be a great measure of “community” as well.  A safe place that contains a wide swath of the population that is highly walkable sounds like a great urban neighbourhood.

Maybe the Trick or Treat index, more than just walkability, could become something house hunters look for.


  1. Robin says:

    Zillow is missing one important component that should be included in violent crime statistics but is instead treated as an “act of god” and not counted in any of the data used—-traffic accidents

  2. Wendy Waters says:

    Interesting point, Robin. I would agree that traffic injuries and fatalities (on some sort of per capita basis) should be tallied in any assessment of a neighbourhood.

    A community on paper might appear quite “livable” or “walkable” but if it is not safe for pedestrians or residents coming and going by car, then the rest of these figures don’t matter that much.

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