Analyzing holiday home prices with web scraping

Case study

Czechitas is a Prague-based non-profit organization that aims to increase diversity in the world of IT by boosting digital proficiency among women and the young. Czechitas runs courses and summer camps to teach women, girls, and children to explore coding, test software, and analyze data. Apify has been a proud Czechitas partner for three years, running workshops about agile development and helping students learn how to use web scraping in their projects, so we were more than happy to get involved with another Czechitas student study.

Challenge: analyze Czech holiday home market

Darina Gaľavská and Pavlína Habartová decided to study the Czech real estate market for their project at the Czechitas Digital Academy, but with a slight twist. They wanted to focus on Czech holiday homes, or cottages. Many Czechs who live in built-up cities aspire to own a slice of country living away from it all. But is it still possible or have prices and availability changed so much that a weekend cottage is now out of reach?

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The Czech real estate market has exploded in the last decade, with price increases intensifying during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the questions that Darina and Pavlína wanted to answer included:

  • How has the supply of holiday property changed?
  • Which properties have become more expensive?
  • Did real estate increase in price more than average wages?
  • What other external factors can affect price?

Solution: data, and lots of it

To carry out this analysis, the duo needed data. And Apify was able to supply them with historical data from Sreality.cz, one of the most popular Czech real estate listings websites, going back to 2016. Web scraping is used heavily in the real estate industry to predict trends, make better investment decisions, automate real estate marketing, and build new products.

The Sreality.cz data gave them the material they needed to apply what they had learned in Czechitas: profiling, data modeling, joining tables and transformation using SQL and Python, interactive data visualization using Tableau – a crash course in hands-on data analysis and optimization.

The team produced a set of interactive dashboards that show how the market for vacation homes in the Czech Republic has changed over the time period. So what did they find out?

  • The number of properties available has been declining in recent years and the time on market has also dropped.
  • Czechs pay more for cottages near cities, with some regions not even affected by the recent pandemic price surge.
  • Real estate prices have been growing faster than average wages. Prices per m2 have more than doubled since 2016.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic pushed prices up by a huge percentage compared to previous years.

The results of the analysis can be seen on Tableau.

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If you’re interested in how these students created their project by using the Apify platform, you might like to read about how Fran, a researcher on the other side of the world also used Apify tools to scrape the Zillow real estate listings website. Apify’s Zillow Real Estate Scraper is just one of our ready-made scraping tools available for free on Apify Store.

Apify is involved in mentoring and tutoring students of all ages, from kids to adult learners. As part of our commitment to education, we’re offering students a special discount. Just use BACKTOSCHOOL when signing up for any Apify plan to get $20 extra platform credits for three months. That should be more than enough for web scraping projects to get going!

We really appreciated Apify's trust, support, and were thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Apify data community!

Pavlína Habartová, Darina Gaľavská

Czechitas student

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