Using online search queries in real estate research with an empirical example of arson forecast
Accounting and Finance
Journal of Real Estate Literature
In this paper, I introduce a user's guide to Google Trends, a service created by Google to make statistics about online searches available to everyone at no cost. I review the service's advantages over conventional sources of data from a researcher's point of view. I also cover the most important stages of a real estate study that employs online search statistics from Google in a step-by-step user's guide. In the guide, I discuss how to compose and refine a list of search terms and how to access, download, process, and apply online search data in real estate research. I illustrate each step of an empirical real estate study. In the study, I test whether the intensity of online searches for specific keywords in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) can help to forecast future arson incidents in those areas. The findings reveal that lagged searches for "foreclosure" are significantly positively associated with the number of arson incidents in the same MSA where online searches have been conducted. The findings also show that lagged searches for "arson," "restructuring," and "strategic default" are negatively related to the number of intentional property fires.
Arson, Fire, Google search volume index, Google trends, GSVI, Insurance fraud, Internet, Online search, Prediction, Real estate, Searches
Artem Meshcheryakov. "Using online search queries in real estate research with an empirical example of arson forecast" Journal of Real Estate Literature (2018): 331-361. https://doi.org/10.1080/10835547.2018.12090489