Benchmark vs Average vs Median — What's the Difference?

Listen closely when people are throwing around stats about home prices. First thing to ask is, which kind of price are they talking about?

Average home price: The average of all house prices within a category, for example, the total of all condo sale prices in a given area divided by the number of condos sold there.

Median home price: The midpoint of sales prices where an equal number of properties were sold above and below this sales price.

Benchmark home price: MLS® estimate of the value of a “typical” home in a community, based on the most popular combination of features, e.g., age, size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You’ll find separate benchmark prices for detached, attached and condo homes.

House Price Index (HPI): Ongoing record tracking aggregate sales of similar homes. MLS® has its own HPI which traces the price trends for detached, attached and apartment properties. The baseline of 100 was set on Jan. 2005 prices. Some highly populated areas have been broken down for more complete data. 

Two Canadian companies also publish HPIs. The Teranet National Bank House Price Index covers eleven cities including Metro Vancouver and Victoria. There’s also the Brookfield RPS House Price Index, starting in 2005 and covering 13 cities, including Metro Vancouver and Victoria.

One thing these indicies don’t tell us is the distribution of prices, i.e., how many homes sell at the different price points. See the Urban Futures report Trends in Lower Mainland Housing Prices to understand this important factor in our real estate markets.

What other real estate terms are as clear as mud? Let me know in a comment below and I'll endeavour to respond with an explanation just for you!


Condo sales take lead during modest January market

Overall inventory levels continued to recover as market activity remained moderate through January. The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board processed 784 sales of all property types on its Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January.

Of the 784 total sales, 250 were residential detached homes, 190 were townhouses, and 257 were condos. This is the first time in the Board’s history that condos have outsold residential detached homes during a month.

“Historically, January months start slowly, and 2019 is following that trend,” explained Barbisan. “Pricing for each of our major residential property types remains either stable or decreased in most areas. This isn’t necessarily indicative of what’s to come in 2019, but it reinforces the need to be aware of what’s happening in your local market in order to be effective.”

For the Fraser Valley region, the average number of days to sell a condo in January was 45, and 44 for townhomes. Single family detached homes remained on the market for an average of 55 days before selling.


How to Decide If You Should Replace Your Windows

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. If they are well maintained, they will have a positive impact on the impression potential buyers have of your property. Of course, the opposite occurs when your windows look old and worn.

So, does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

  • Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your windows are double-paned - (two panes of glass) - check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and, at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Take a look at your windows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.
  • Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? Some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire. It’s important to make sure those work properly.
  • Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows can have a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.

Want more tips on increasing the value, and enjoyment, of your property? Call me today.


Canadian housing market set for years of tamed price hikes

The country’s once-roaring housing market has been tamed, according to the latest Reuters survey. The report, which surveyed 20 analysts, forecast that home prices will rise nationally and in key urban hot spots, but will not surpass the overall inflation over the next two years.

While a mild price correction has already happened in Toronto and is underway in Vancouver, the survey, taken Feb. 13 to Feb. 21, puts the probability of a national correction at just 20%. Home prices are projected to rise just 1.1% in 2019 on an average basis, followed by 1.9% in 2020 and then 3% in 2021. The forecast for Toronto is nearly identical at 1.3%, 2% and 3.5%, with Vancouver likely down by 1% this year, then up by 0.2% next year and 3% in two years’ time.

One of the main reasons for the change from years of price hikes and speculative frenzy in the country’s largest cities is demand – not just supply concerns or the still-cheap cost of getting a mortgage.

“The Canadian housing market’s major shift from homeownership to rental continues,” said Sebastien Lavoie, chief economist at Laurentian Bank Securities. “The stars are aligned for further strengthening in activity in the rental market: demand coming from atypical jobs and immigration, higher rates restraining some households to buy a home, the preference of millennials to delay the purchase of a home later in their life cycle.” The survey identified an economic slowdown as the biggest risk to the market, followed by higher mortgage rates.

Via Geraldine Grones - WhichMortgage

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