The final release of version 2 of the Local Market Explorer WordPress Plugin is still a week or so away, but for the adventurous, we’re making available a beta version to try out. I feel pretty confident that there aren’t major bugs though, so you should be perfectly safe with the upgrade (if you’re currently using version 1) or install.

The BIG change in v2 is that the plugin now supports loading data on both neighborhood AND zip code level. To see an example, take a look at the Belltown neighborhood in Seattle, WA. The module was previously limited to just being able to display data on a city level. You can add your own descriptions (including HTML now) for each city, neighborhood, and zip code that you set up. You can still also link to cities, neighborhoods, and zips that you haven’t set up / added descriptions for.

Another great new feature is the addition of more market data in the “Market Statistics” module. Data such as the median list price, median sale price, median list price per sq ft, and the number of homes for sale has been added. More data will likely be available in the very near future.

Other changes include usability improvements in the admin area, the ability to turn the Flickr panel off independently of turning off the area descriptions, and the ability to turn off the “Schools” and “Market Statistics” modules.

Anyway, please give it a whirl. You can download the zip file here. If you don’t have Local Market Explorer installed at all, you should be able to simply download the plugin and install it via the plugin upload area in your admin. If you already have Local Market Explorer installed, you’ll need to follow the steps below to upgrade for now (since it’s not officially released yet):

  1. Deactivate the Local Market Explorer plugin.
  2. Go to the “Recently Active” plugins link.
  3. Click the “Delete” link on the plugin to delete all of the files for the plugin. You won’t lose your settings as they’re stored in the database, not in the files.
  4. Install the plugin using the plugin “Upload” link.
  5. Activate the plugin.

That’s all! It’d be really great to get feedback before this thing is officially released, so if you have anything to say, bugs you found, features you’d like to see, etc, feel free to leave it in the comments.