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The qualifying round of the $1 million Zillow® Prize Zestimate competition has closed with record submissions, Zillow recently announced. More than 4,350 participants from 78 countries submitted over 76,000 entries, averaging 517 a day, in an attempt to improve the Zestimate® home valuation accuracy.

“We’ve been blown away by the engagement of people from around the world in the Zillow Prize,” says Dr. Stan Humphries, chief analytics officer at Zillow Group. “That fact that so many individuals from around the world are excited by this competition really speaks to both the importance of understanding a home’s value to consumers and the intellectual challenge in getting it right. We’ve worked hard to improve the Zestimate algorithm’s accuracy rate to 4.3 percent nationwide, and now we’re eager to see the innovation within the thousands of submissions shared by the global data science community.”

The competition is the second-largest ever hosted on Kaggle, and one of the top three most popular machine learning competitions ever.

With the close of the qualifying round, all submissions will be scored against the actual sales prices of homes sold over the next three months. On Jan. 17, 2018, Zillow will announce the top 100 teams who have earned their spot in the final round to compete for the $1 million grand prize. In the final round, competitors must build an algorithm to predict the actual sale price itself and will be allowed to use outside data not provided by Zillow. To walk away with the grand prize, the winning algorithm must beat Zillow’s benchmark accuracy on the final round competition data set, and be more accurate than any other competitor’s algorithm.

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