Redfin analyst Eric Scharnhorst looks at data that suggested that odds of economic mobility improve in neighborhoods where there's a broad spectrum and distribution of incomes and wealth, vs. a high concentration of household incomes within a narrow range.
Assuming that the American Dream of homeownership is likelier when the spawning ground is communities with more economic mobility, Redfin researchers delved into the data on where income levels were the most diverse. Scharnhorst writes:
To find these communities, we tallied the affordability of millions of homes by comparing their sale price to the purchasing power of a local, median-income family. Addresses were labeled as either affordable or high-end and then packed into a high-resolution grid to see how much area in each city and neighborhood fit into three categories: mostly affordable, mostly high-end or a mixture of affordable and high-end. This was like shaking two colors of sprinkles onto a checkerboard and counting the sprinkles on each square.If an area had more than three affordable houses or condominiums sold for every expensive one, we labeled it affordable. Areas with more than three pricey homes sold to every economical one were considered high-end. In between were the balanced areas, with a wide range of home prices.