Forecasting commercial real estate indicators under COVID-19 by adopting human activity using social big data

Creative Commons License

Tascilar M., Arslanlı K. Y.

ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE, vol.6, no.3, pp.1111-1132, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41685-022-00254-7
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1111-1132
  • Keywords: Commercial real estate, Social big data, COVID-19, Urban spatial analysis, TIME-SERIES, UNIT-ROOT, PERSONALITY, TWITTER, TRANSIT, PRICES, MODELS, LOCATE, IMPACT
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Dependence of the real estate sector on human activity has been unveiled during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it is assumed that trends emitted from the location-based social networks (LBSNs) successfully reflect human activities, hence commercial property trends. This study examined the use of social media to forecast commercial real estate figures during COVID-19 in Istanbul and determined the potential of social media data for forecasting the future rent/price levels of retail properties. Instagram and Twitter, two major LBSN platforms, were selected as social media data sources. First, 17 million geo-tagged Instagram posts and 230 thousand geo-referenced tweets were collected. Then, the data sets were superposed on COVID-19 key points in Turkey and the relationships observed. Finally, the data sets were combined with the commercial real estate data to monitor increases in the accuracy of rent and price predictions. Besiktas District of Istanbul was chosen as the pilot region to test the methodology. The results showed that the LBSN-supported models outperformed baseline models most of the time for price predictions and occasionally for rent predictions. Also, both Instagram and Twitter were found essential to the study and could not be omitted. This study demonstrates the significance and leveraging potential of applying human activities to the decision-making processes of the commercial real estate sector under COVID-19 conditions. This is the first study to adopt LBSN data to forecast commercial property prices.