Housing Market Prediction Problem using Different Machine Learning Algorithms: A Case Study

Jha, Shashi Bhushan, Babiceanu, Radu F., Pandey, Vijay, Jha, Rajesh Kumar

arXiv.org Machine Learning 

Developing an accurate prediction model for housing prices is always needed for socioeconomic development and wellbeing of citizens. In this paper, a diverse set of machine learning algorithms such as XGBoost, CatBoost, Random Forest, Lasso, Voting Regressor, and others, are being employed to predict the housing prices using public available datasets. The housing datasets of 62,723 records from January 2015 to November 2019 is obtained from the Florida's Volusia County Property Appraiser website. The records are publicly available and include the real estate/economic database, maps, and other associated information. The database is usually updated weekly according to the State of Florida regulations. Then, the housing price prediction models using machine learning techniques are developed and their regression model performances are compared. Finally, an improved housing price prediction model for assisting the housing market is proposed. Particularly, a house seller/buyer or a real estate broker can get insight in making better-informed decisions considering the housing price prediction. Keywords: Housing Price Prediction, Machine Learning Algorithms, XGBoost Method, Target Binning. 1) Introduction Starting with 2005, the increasing interest rates in the U.S. housing market have slowed down the market considerably. Particularly, the investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings was affected significantly, and forced into bankruptcy in 2008. This resulted in a sharp decline in the housing prices and, combined with the subprime mortgage crisis, increased the slowing down of the economy and weakened the asset values, which ultimately led to the depreciation of the global housing market and caused a global crisis (Park & Kwon Bae, 2015). Consequently, economists turned their attention to predicting these types of threats that could jeopardize the economic stability.

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