When Should I Use The Median Home Price vs Average Home Price? – Real Estate Market Guides | Zenlist

When To Use The Median Home Price? When To Use The Average Home Price?

Both median home price and average home price are pulled from the same set of numbers, but the two are usually very different – both in number and meaning.

While median represents the middle-of-the-pack price – what a home right in the center of a market’s offerings would cost – the average is a bit different. Instead, the average home price refers to the mean price of homes in an area, once added together and averaged out.

In our earlier example, the average home price would be calculated like by adding all home prices: $246,000 + $299,000 + $384,000 + $406,000 + $1,000,000 = $2,335,000. You would then divide that by the number of data points in the set (5, in this case), to get the average home price: $467,000.

As you can see, the average price is actually $83K more than the median home price, even though it uses the same data. Here’s a graphic that spells out just how different median and average prices can be for the same area:

The Benefit of Using Each

The average price is best used in situations where the dataset is evenly distributed – with plenty of numbers on the higher, middle and lower-cost end contributing to it. If it’s used in a smaller set, it can often be skewed by extreme prices on of either end of the spectrum.

The median home price, on the other hand, is a great choice when data sets are small and not evenly distributed, as it’s not impacted by extreme numbers. It’s also a better option when looking for the price of a “typical” home in an area, as it’s harder to skew with the occasion million-dollar home sale or bargain-basement foreclosure.

The important thing to note is that median home price and average home price can be quite different – particularly if prices aren’t evenly distributed. Make sure you know what type of data is being used before you take either number into account in your home search.

More on this topic:


What Is The Median Home Price – Real Estate Market Guides | Zenlist

The median home price is the price in the middle of the dataset when you arrange all the home prices from low to high.

If you’re researching potential properties or just dipping your toes in the housing market, you’ve likely heard the term “median home price” thrown around. But what does it mean and when should you consider it important?

In any dataset –  whether it’s home prices or grades in a classroom – “median” refers to the number located in the very middle of the set (when arranged from lowest to highest.) As an example, let’s say homes sold in Chicago today came in at:


  •       $246,000
  •       $299,000
  •       $384,000 <= median
  •       $406,000
  •       $1,000,000


The number $384,000 – which is situated right in the middle of the list – would be the median home price. Generally, median home prices are used in conjunction with average home prices to give a full picture of a local housing market. The two terms might sound similar, but they actually have quite different meanings when it comes to setting price expectations for an area.