Looking back at the 2013 housing forecast

The economists at the National Association of Homebuilders looked into the future with impressive accuracy 12 months ago.

Las Vegas -- At last year’s International Builders’ Show, industry economists from the builders’ biggest trade group looked into their crystal balls and made forecasts for housing starts.

How did they do? Short answer: Not bad.

A little more than a year ago, HCN reported the housing start forecast from National Association of Home Builders chief economist David Crowe. Here’s how it stacked up with time and reality:

Total housing starts

NAHB prediction: 949,000

2013 final*: 923,400

Accuracy rating: within 2.7%


Single-family housing starts

NAHB prediction: 650,000

2013 final*: 617,800

Accuracy rating: within 5.0%


Multi-family housing starts

NAHB prediction: 299,000

2013 final*: 305,600

Accuracy rating: within 2.2%

(*source: U.S. Census Bureau)


For 2014, the NAHB is predicting 1.15 million housing starts, a 24.5% increase. Single-family starts are expected to reach 822,000 units, a 33% increase.

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