IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Could we have predicted the recent downturn in the South African Housing Market?

  • Sonali Das
  • Rangan Gupta
  • Alain Kabundi

This paper develops large-scale Bayesian Vector Autoregressive (BVAR) models, based on 268 quarterly series, for forecasting annualized real house price growth rates for large-, medium and small-middle-segment housing for the South African economy. Given the in-sample period of 1980:01 to 2000:04, the large-scale BVARs, estimated under alternative hyperparameter values specifying the priors, are used to forecast real house price growth rates over a 24-quarter out-of-sample horizon of 2001:01 to 2006:04. The forecast performance of the large-scale BVARs are then compared with classical and Bayesian versions of univariate and multivariate Vector Autoregressive (VAR) models, merely comprising of the real growth rates of the large-, medium and small-middle-segment houses, and a large-scale Dynamic Factor Model (DFM), which comprises of the same 268 variables included in the large-scale BVARs. Based on the one- to four-quarters ahead Root Mean Square Errors (RMSEs) over the out-of-sample horizon, we find the large-scale BVARs to not only outperform all the other alternative models, but to also predict the recent downturn in the real house price growth rates for the three categories of the middle-segment-housing over the period of 2003:01 to 2008:02.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify (Yoemna Mosaval)

Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 149.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:149
Contact details of provider: Postal: Newlands on Main, F0301 3rd Floor Mariendahl House, cnr Campground and Main Rds, Claremont, 7700 Cape Town
Phone: 021 671-3980
Fax: +27 21 671 3912
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Carlos Vargas-Silva, 2008. "The effect of monetary policy on housing: a factor-augmented vector autoregression (FAVAR) approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(10), pages 749-752.
  2. Richard M. Todd, 1984. "Improving economic forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregression," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall.
  3. Marco Del Negro, 2001. "Turn, turn, turn: Predicting turning points in economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 1-12.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Forecasting Output and Inflation: The Role of Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Topel, Robert H & Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "Housing Investment in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 718-40, August.
  7. Anirvan Banerji & Pami Dua & Stephen M. Miller, 2003. "Performance Evaluation of the New Connecticut Leading Employment Index Using Lead Profiles and BVAR Models," Working papers 114, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  8. Guangling (Dave) Liu & Rangan Gupta, 2006. "A Small-Scale DSGE Model for Forecasting the South African Economy," Working Papers 200621, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  9. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2002. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2003. "Do financial variables help forecasting inflation and real activity in the euro area?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1243-1255, September.
  12. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  13. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1995. "Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission," Working Papers 95-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Rangan Gupta, 2006. "Forecasting the South African Economy with VARs and VECMs," Working Papers 200618, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  15. Sims, Christopher A & Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1990. "Inference in Linear Time Series Models with Some Unit Roots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 113-44, January.
  16. Rangan Gupta & Moses M. Sichei, 2006. "A BVAR Model for the South African Economy," Working Papers 200612, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  17. Matteo Iacoviello & Stefano Neri, 2007. "Housing Market Spillovers: Evidence from an Estimated DSGE Model," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 659, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 23 Oct 2009.
  18. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  19. Sonali Das & Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi, 2008. "Is a DFM Well Suited for Forecasting Regional House Price Inflation?," Working Papers 85, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  20. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  21. Zellner, Arnold, 1986. "A tale of forecasting 1001 series : The Bayesian knight strikes again," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 491-494.
  22. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Philippe Burger & Lizelle janse Van rensburg, 2008. "Metropolitan House Prices In South Africa: Do They Converge?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 76(2), pages 291-297, 06.
  24. Rapach, David E. & Strauss, Jack K., 2009. "Differences in housing price forecastability across US states," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 351-372.
  25. Dua, Pami & Miller, Stephen M & Smyth, David J, 1999. "Using Leading Indicators to Forecast U.S. Home Sales in a Bayesian Vector Autoregressive Framework," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 191-205, March.
  26. Spencer, David E., 1993. "Developing a Bayesian vector autoregression forecasting model," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 407-421, November.
  27. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2007. "Determining the Number of Primitive Shocks in Factor Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 52-60, January.
  28. Rangan Gupta, 2009. "Bayesian Methods Of Forecasting Inventory Investment," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 77(1), pages 113-126, 03.
  29. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  30. Dua, Pami & Miller, Stephen M, 1996. "Forecasting Connecticut Home Sales in a BVAR Framework Using Coincident and Leading Indexes," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 219-35, November.
  31. Thomas Hyclak & Geraint Johnes, 1999. "original: House prices and regional labor markets," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 33-49.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:149. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Yoemna Mosaval)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.