The house price index is an aggregate measure of housing prices in geographic area. It is calculated with a combination observed sales pricing data and housing appraisal data by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration. The index (like all indices) is a unit-less variable. Some general information can be gleaned by examining the overall trend of the index over time, but like inflation estimates, it is most helpful to examine how it changes relative to itself (in percent change form).
Baton Rouge MSA House Price Index (HPI)
Below the Baton Rouge area MSA house price index is expressed by the blue line while a nonlinear trend for house prices has been estimated and is shown by the orange line1. The trend line is used to show when the housing market is above/below its “normal” growth cycle.
Since the raw index level is usually increasing over the distant future, it is usually helpful to express the HPI as a growth rate. Housing prices in the greater Baton Rouge area have grown at an average annual rate of 3.3 percent.
Forecasts2 for Baton Rouge area house prices are made from an aggregation of multiple statistical models designed to approximate the underlying data generating process of the available data. A Bayesian model averaging approach is used here to capture the joint uncertainty that any given model may be misspecified as well as capturing the probabilistic uncertainty inherent in each individual estimate. Observed data is given in blue while forecasts are presented in orange. The weighted average of all models used is represented by the solid orange line. The upper bound and lower of the cone of uncertainty surrounding these estimates is represented by the dashed upper and lower lines respectively.
The forecasts for the level of HPI do not necessarily tell us much beyond the ability to conclude that house prices on average are either increasing or decreasing and comparing this rate of change with what is previously been observed (examining the slope) on a qualitative level. Forecasting the HPI in growth rate terms is a bit more meaningful since it now has a familiar interpretation similar to inflation or the growth rate of GDP.
Please note that the graphs below are interactive HTML widgets. Please hover over each to examine the underlying data that comprises them.↩
Forecasts are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only without any explicit or implied warranty. The authors and publishers of this post and site bear no responsibility for the information provided here and cannot be held liable for any negative consequences that may arise due its publication. Forecasting the future is inherently a tricky proposition, and all forecasts have an error term attached to them. Please exercise caution when making financial and business decisions based on the information provided. Use this information as a single input into your decisions making process.↩