Modeling housing rent in the Atlanta metropolitan area using textual information and deep learning

Document Type


Publication Date



Computer Science

Publication Title

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information


The rental housing market plays a critical role in the United States real estate market. In addition, rent changes are also indicators of urban transformation and social phenomena. However, traditional data sources for market rent prediction are often inaccurate or inadequate at covering large geographies. With the development of housing information exchange platforms such as Craigslist, user-generated rental listings now provide big data that cover wide geographies and are rich in textual information. Given the importance of rent prediction in urban studies, this study aims to develop and evaluate models of rental market dynamics using deep learning approaches on spatial and textual data from Craigslist rental listings. We tested a number of machine learning and deep learning models (e.g., convolutional neural network, recurrent neural network) for the prediction of rental prices based on data collected from Atlanta, GA, USA. With textual information alone, deep learning models achieved an average root mean square error (RMSE) of 288.4 and mean absolute error (MAE) of 196.8. When combining textual information with location and housing attributes, the integrated model achieved an average RMSE of 227.9 and MAE of 145.4. These approaches can be applied to assess the market value of rental properties, and the prediction results can be used as indicators of a variety of urban phenomena and provide practical references for home owners and renters.

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