RealtyTrac released its first-ever Registered Criminal Offender Risk Index, which shows that average home values and home equity were lower — while average foreclosure rates were higher — in zip codes with a higher offender index than in zip codes with a lower offender index.
The report also shows that average home price appreciation has been slightly stronger over the past year and five years in zip codes with a higher offender index than in zip codes with a lower offender index, but only zip codes with an offender index in the bottom 20th percentile have seen home prices rebound above levels from 10 years ago.
“This new index provides concrete evidence that registered criminal offenders pose not only a potential safety risk for homeowners and their families, but also a potential financial risk for what is likely a homeowner’s biggest asset,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “This is clearly evident in the significantly lower home values and significantly higher foreclosure rates in zip codes with a higher offender index, but it may not be as evident in the home price appreciation numbers, which are actually slightly stronger over the past year and five years in zip codes with a higher offender index. However, the 10-year appreciation numbers demonstrate home values in the lowest-risk zip codes for offenders were not hit as hard during the housing downturn and have rebounded more quickly back to their previous highs – even exceeding those previous highs.”
The index is based on the number of registered criminal offenders (including sex offenders, child predators, kidnappers and violent offenders) as a percentage of total population in 10,358 U.S. zip codes. The offender data is collected from each state’s criminal offender registry online and is available on RealtyTrac subsidiary www.homedisclosure.com, where offenders living within a half-mile radius of a home can be identified.
The index ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher index indicating a higher percentage of offenders. Zip codes were placed in one of five risk categories — each representing 20 percent of all zip codes: Very High, High, Medium, Low and Very Low. Publicly recorded real estate data collected by RealtyTrac was also included for each zip code to analyze information about home values, homeowner equity, home price appreciation and foreclosure rates in each zip code.