Can friendliness be measured? And can it be used as a home-selling indicator? According to the publisher Forbes it can. In their latest study they linked up with Nextdoor.com, a California-based social network for neighbourhoods, to assess 500 small metro areas in the United States with populations between 5,500 and 150,000.
The study used data from the U.S. Census, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and City-Data.com, and ranked the towns based on four “data points”: percentage of owner-occupied homes (according to Forbes, studies have shown a direct correlation between homeownership and neighbourhood stability), the crime rate, charitable giving and the percentage of college graduates. Nextdoor then surveyed their members in the highest ranking towns in order to rank them.
The following towns were the Forbes/Nextdoor.com top ten friendliest towns in the United States:
1. Sammamish, Wash.: a suburb of Seattle where nearly 90 percent of households own their own homes. Crime and unemployment are low.
2. Orinda, CA: In Northern Calif. just outside of Oakland, this suburb has 92 percent owner-occupied units, very low crime and main artsy/community activities.
3. Fishers, Ind.: This town has a very low crime rate, year-round community activities and the top school system in the state.
4. Seal Beach, CA: An “Orange County seaside enclave” with about 75 percent of home ownership, great pride in a wooden pier, and Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge.
5. Westerville, Ohio: A Columbus suburb with about 40 parks, and a very low crime rate. Monthly sidewalk sales by local businesses.
6. Frisco, Texas: Fast-growing “Dallas Bubble” sports crazy suburb has grown from 40,000 to 120,000 since 2000 with 80 percent of its residents own their homes.
7. Alpharetta, GA: The so-called “City of Celebration” has a year-round calendar of community events.
8. Downers Grove, IL: About 80 percent home ownership and above average education this Midwestern suburb lists 140 community events.
9. Huntington Woods, MI: An inner suburb of Detroit with 95 percent home ownership and 75 percent of the population holding higher education degrees. A historic town with community events.
10.Tooele, UT: This mountain town to the west of Salt Lake City comes in at number ten for its charitable giving. Crime on the other hand is the same as the national average.
With many more friendly towns in the US, owners selling their properties may now add a “Friendliness”rating to their properties list of benefits! How does you town rate for friendliness? Are the criteria used in the study “smart” ones and is the study too skewed? Let us know below.