BusinessOpinion

Editorial: Portsmouth, Best ‘City’ to Buy a Home?

The following is an editorial written by Portsmouth Press Publisher Sandy McGee. 

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — A story published Monday on Business Insider claims Portsmouth is the “best city to buy a home in Rhode Island.” However, how accurate are mixed data reports? 

First of all, Portsmouth is a great place to buy a home, in my opinion. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. However, I question mixed data.

Portsmouth Press has seen a number of data report stories shared on social media recently. As policy, Portsmouth Press has not published these reports due to questions of credibility.

Some reports do not explain the sources of information or a mathematical breakdown of data. 

A recent story, “The best city in every state if you want to buy a home,” published on Business Insider Monday and written by Andrew DePietro of GOBankingRates, uses a mix of data. 

According to the article, GoBankingRates gets its information from the mix of data explained below. 

“Methodology: In order to source list, GOBankingRates identified the three cities in each state with the best-ranked school districts, according to Niche. Then, GOBankingRates used the following factors to determine the best city in each state: 1) median property tax bill, sourced from the Tax Foundation; 2) median home listing price, sourced from Zillow; 3) median household income, 2010-2014 (in 2014 dollars) sourced from U.S. Census Bureau. Based on those three factors, the study selected the best city out of three cities for each state. States left out due to insufficient data include: Alaska, Montana and Hawaii.”

One of its sources, Niche, gets its information from an unexplained mix of sources, including unidentified Niche users.

While this is a fantastic resource to use for parents and students, it would aid in credibility to see the breakdown of the calculations, in my opinion. 

There are obvious inaccuracies with the recent story, which describes Portsmouth as “a city.” Portsmouth is a small town in Newport County. 

The article also claims “Home values grew about 11 percent in the past year,” but according to Zillow, “Portsmouth home values have gone up 13.2% over the past year.” 

Finally, the image displayed as a Portsmouth house on the article cannot be purchased since its the summer home at Green Animals Topiary Gardens

Perhaps I should just let the article slide since it has a positive note. What does it matter if the information is inaccurate? What do you think? 

Tell us in the comment section below. 

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