The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of the ensemble learning models, such as the Random Forest and Extreme Gradient Boosting models, in predicting the direction of the Japan real estate investment trusts (J-REITs) at different return horizons, based on input obtained from various technical indicators.


This study measures the predictability of J-REITs with technical indicators by using different horizons of REITs’ return and machine learning models. The ensemble learning models includes Random Forest and Extreme Gradient Boosting models while the return horizons of REITs ranging from 1 to 300 days. The results were further split into individual years to check for the consistency of the performance across time.


The Extreme Gradient Boosting appears to be the best method in improving forecast accuracy but not the trading return. A wider return horizons platform seemed to deliver a relatively better performance in both forecast accuracy and trading return, when compared to the return horizon of one.

Practical implications

It is recommended that the Extreme Gradient Boosting and Random Forest model be considered by practitioners for back-testing trading model. In addition, selecting different return horizons so as to achieve a better performance in trading/investment should also be considered.


The predictability of J-REITs using technical indicators was compared among different returns horizons and the models (Extreme Gradient Boosting and Random Forest).


  • Japan
  • Random Forest
  • Extreme Gradient Boosting
  • Real estate investment trust
  • Return horizons
  • Technical analysis


Loo, W.K. (2020), “Performing technical analysis to predict Japan REITs’ movement through ensemble learning”, Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPIF-01-2020-0007

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I am a PhD holder with 9 years of teaching experience at secondary school and university. My expertizes are mathematics, statistics, econometrics, finance and machine learning.

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