(Z)estimating future house values

Zestimate just got a makeover – it’s smarter and sees better.  Incorporating ideas from the Zillow Prize, it’s now more accurate and “half of all Zestimates fall within 2% of the home’s eventual sale price.” That accuracy comes with a caveat. It is for Zestimates of for-sale properties.  For homes that are not listed for sale, the error is 7.7%.  Nevertheless, for home buyers, Zestimates give a good, usable idea of current house values.

But what about future house values?  The Zestimate forecast predicts the change in the Zestimate over the next 12 months based on past Zestimate values and the Zillow Home Value Forecast.  The Zillow Home Value Forecast forecasts the change in the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) over the next 12 months.  And all this boils down to: improved forecasts of the Zillow Home Value Index power better (Z)estimates of future house values. 

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