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How Are Our Local Market Grades Calculated?

Our grading system is built on multiple data sets both publicly and privately available. We’ve built our system using the most impactful data points to score each city on a scale that can help our users find the best place to live.

First, we rank every city in the U.S. that has data available for each metric in our system. Next we create groups of these cities from best (A+) to worst (D-). Then we group together similar data points into categories like cost-of-living or lifestyle and create a category grade. Last, we create an overall ranking from a combination of these category scores.

The benefit of this system is it allows our visitors to not only see a total grade, but explore each category’s score as well. We know that no two people are the same and while some might favor great schools or a low cost-of-living, others might prefer a quick commute to work.

Below is a list of each data point we use for our scoring system, which category it lives within, and the source of the data.

Data Point Category Data Source
Home Inventory Housing Altos
Median Days on Market Housing Altos
Total New Listings Housing Altos
Estimated Home Sales Housing Altos
Median Home Price Cost of Living Altos
Avg. Cost per Sq. Foot Cost of Living Altos
School Grade Education Great Schools
BA or Greater Education Education U.S. Census
Unemployment Employment U.S. Census
Restaurant and Bars Lifestyle U.S. Census
Businesses Lifestyle U.S. Census
Net Migration Lifestyle U.S. Census
Travel Time to Work Commute U.S. Census
% Bike to Work Commute U.S. Census
% Public Transit to Work Commute U.S. Census
% Walk to Work Commute U.S. Census

Data Provided by Altos and Census Bureau

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