May 22, 2024


It's the Technology

Redfin launches new feature that shows zoning data on home detail pages – GeekWire

Redfin launches new feature that shows zoning data on home detail pages – GeekWire

(Redfin Photo)

Redfin announced Monday that it added the zoning data of more than 70 million homes on its platform, becoming the first real estate site to offer such information.

Zoning laws are playing an increasingly important role in real estate transactions across the U.S. and Canada. Land-use provisions tell buyers whether or not they can add an accessory dwelling unit in their backyard, run a business or farm, or operate a vacation rental.

Redfin is partnering with Zoneomics, an AI tool that scours government codes and laws, to offer the new service.

“Zoning is a defining characteristic of real estate in North America,” Redfin’s chief growth officer Christian Taubman said in a statement. “Redfin users ask us every day whether a property can be rented out on Airbnb or whether building another living unit in the backyard is allowed, and now they can find answers directly on our home detail pages.”

A screenshot of the details and information users will be able to learn about the properties they are researching on Redfin. (Redfin Image)

The move comes at a time when cities across the U.S. are updating their city codes. Lawmakers from New York to Hawaii are cracking down on vacation rental operations. Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a bill in April that requires property owners to book their unit for a minimum of 90 days. Meanwhile some cities are also moving to loosen restrictions on ADUs to increase housing supply. Seattle lawmakers passed legislation in 2019 designed to remove regulatory barriers for these structures, following the lead of California.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman is an investor in Abodu, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that manufactures and delivers prefabricated cottages. The startup recently announced that it was launching in Seattle, expanding from California.

Redfin has struggled amid the broader housing market downturn, with its stock down more than 85% since the start of the year. The company announced last month that it was shutting down its iBuying service, RedfinNow, and laying off 13% of its workforce.