David Johnstone

Real estate data visualisation for Victoria

February 20, 2014

For a long time I’ve been thinking about making a tool to help you work out where to live when you don’t know the area well. Put another way, I’ve long thought that real estate websites could do a better job with data visualisation. Anyway, I decided to spend a little bit of time working on this problem, and I now have something to show for it.

Here’s the tool. It shows median sale or rental price, annual growth or rental yield for a variety of property types (all houses, or two, three or four bedroom houses, or all units, or one, two or three bedroom units) in Victoria. It shows all this data on a per-town or per-suburb basis on a colour coded map. In the picture above, the median sale price of all houses is shown, and it is obvious that the inner eastern and south-eastern suburbs are the expensive ones.

There tend to be outliers that mean the prices that most localities are in is compressed to a narrower range of the colour scale, so it’s often helpful to change the minimum and maximum values of the colour scale to see the differences more clearly. In the image above, the minimum was set to $250k and maximum to $1.8M, although there are two suburbs with a medium house price above that.

All the data for this comes straight from realestate.com.au and is current as of now (February 2014). On the tech side of things, I decided to use Bootstrap for once. It works well. chroma.js is used with the colours (the actual colour scale is from ColorBrewer).

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