Housing starts are expected to total 1.013 million in April in tomorrow’s update, based on The Capital Spectator’s average econometric forecast (seasonally adjusted annual rate). That’s a modest decline vs. the previously reported total of 1.036 million for March. Meanwhile, The Capital Spectator’s projected gain for April is well above the numbers in several consensus forecasts drawn from surveys of economists.
Here’s a closer look at the numbers, followed by brief definitions of the methodologies behind The Capital Spectator’s projections:
VAR-3: A vector autoregression model that analyzes three economic series to project housing starts: new home sales, newly issued permits for residential construction, and the monthly supply of homes for sale. VAR analyzes the interdependent relationships of these series with housing starts through history. The forecasts are run in R using the “vars” package.
ARIMA: An autoregressive integrated moving average model that analyzes the historical record of housing starts in R via the “forecast” package.
ES: An exponential smoothing model that analyzes the historical record of housing starts in R via the “forecast” package.
R-1: A linear regression model that analyzes the NAHB Housing Market Index in context with housing starts. The historical relationship between the data sets is applied to the more recently updated NAHB Housing Market Index to project housing starts. The computations are run in R.