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The Housing Innovation Map

Location Intelligence

There is a huge volume of existing geospatial data and its growing at an unprecedented rate. To unlock the potential of this information, location-based data analytics services, or, location intelligence, have been developed to generate new insights and support decision-making in sectors like housing. Location intelligence is bringing huge disruption to the traditional housing market by empowering buyers and renters alike.

Driving forces

  • It is said that 80% of all data collected is location-based, and we’re adding to that amount every day, but the data alone does not provide comprehensive insights on the location;
  • For property investors or homes seekers, gathering location-related information to influence decision-making tends to be time-consuming;
  • Finding off-market housing land can be difficult through traditional approaches.

Location intelligence in practice

In general, location intelligence refers to the process of deriving meaningful insights through aggregating, analysing or visualising multiple geospatial data sets for easy reference on a map. In the housing sector, location intelligence has been increasingly applied in generating location-based insights to inform decision-making or help identify and assess off-market land for housing.

Location-based evaluation tools are becoming increasingly popular in the real estate sector. With algorithms developed to aggregate a range of geospatial data and map the generated insights, such tools could provide visualisation on the lifestyle associated with a given area, for instance.

Users could easily access postcode data to search such things as the accessibility of public transport, local education and healthcare services, employment and crime rate, and natural disaster risk. Some of these tools also provide location scorings to generate area by area comparisons and rankings. The results will normally be visualised on a map or could be clicked for expanded detail.

Off-market land identification tools are another popular type of location intelligence application in housing. By aggregating site-specific data, such as ownership, transactions, planning applications and utilities data in a single platform, investors can recognise inactive areas and uncover potential off-market land. They may also incorporate other datasets like market valuation, planning policy, and environmental appraisal to provide investors with the ability to assess the viability of development on selected sites – reducing the risk of an unwise investment.

With the availability of more datasets and the application of more advanced algorithms, location intelligence will generate more robust location-based insights and introduce improvements in the accuracy of assessing land viability and predicting market trends of the area.

Benefits and impact

Supported by data aggregation and automation technology, location intelligence helps free buyers and renters from time-consuming location research. By providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the selected locations, it enables more informed decisions to be made on property selection, while largely reducing the risks associated with an imprudent investment.
 

Have you got any thoughts on location intelligence?

If you have any ideas around how we can utilise location intelligence, or want to work with us on this topic, please get in touch. For more information, and to find out about upcoming events around the future of housing, or simply to join the conversation, please email Bin Guan, City Planning Researcher, on bguan@futurecities.catapult.org.uk.

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