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The accuracy of housing forecasting in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by Anthony MillsAnthony Mills, D Harris, M Skitmore
Forecasting is an integral part of all business planning, and forecasting the outlook for housing is of interest to many firms in the housing construction sector. This research measures the performance of a number of industry forecasting bodies; this is done to provide users with an indicator of the value of housing forecasting undertaken in Australia. The accuracy of housing commencement forecasts of three Australian organisations – the Housing Industry Association (HIA), the Indicative Planning Council for the Housing Industry (IPC) and BIS-Shrapnel – is examined through the empirical analysis of their published forecasts supplemented by qualitative data in the form of opinions elicited from several industry “experts” employed in these organisations. Forecasting performance was determined by comparing the housing commencement forecast with the actual data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on an ex-post basis. Although the forecasts cover different time periods, the level of accuracy is similar, at around 11-13 per cent for four-quarter-ahead forecasts. In addition, national forecasts are more accurate than forecasts for individual states. This is the first research that has investigated the accuracy of both private and public sector forecasting of housing construction in Australia. This allows users of the information to better understand the performance of various forecasting organisations.