After the last post, which looked at housing values across New York City, I thought it would be interesting to take a more granular look at housing values across the U.S.
To create the map below, I took the total residential property value for every county in the U.S. (the contiguous 48 states), and substituted those values for each county’s land area.
Total housing value by county
Aside from the Northeast, Property value in the U.S. is concentrated in a relatively small number of areas. In the animation below, notice what a small portion of the U.S. land area is actually covered by the red counties.
Here is the previous post on New York City property values, which explains how the values were calculated (on a related topic, here is why the rent is so high in NYC). All other county-level property values are from this post on The Economist.
This type of map, in which each area is substituted by some other mapping variable, is called a cartogram. They are not used all that often because there can be a fair amount of manual work involved in making the areas accurately sized while maintaining the basic shape.
Scapetoad is another great tool for making cartograms. It is not as customizable, but it is much more user-friendly.
I'm fascinated by data visualization and the ways that data is transforming our understanding of the world. I spend a lot of time with my face buried in Excel, and when I find something interesting I write about it here and as a contributor for the Huffington Post.
More about my background