What is a median house price?

In the REIV September Quarter Property Update, you can read about median prices for Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. The median prices of both houses and units in most suburbs are available at reiv.com.au.

In some cases, the median price will have increased and in others, it will have decreased. But to understand what the results mean, it is important to understand what a median is.

The median is not the average. The median value is the middle price in a series of sales, where half of the sales are of lower value and half are of higher value. For example, if 15 sales are recorded in a suburb and arranged in order from lowest to highest value, the eighth sale price is the median price.

Median prices are used rather than average prices because median prices are unaffected by a few unusually high or low prices, making them more accurate.

If your suburb does not appear on the list, it may be because of insufficient sales or because the area is not an official suburb.

The institute collects the results of about 70 per cent of all residential property sales in the quarter and publishes the suburb-by-suburb results where we believe the sample is an accurate reflection of the sales activity.

When there are fewer than 30 sales in a quarter but it is a reasonable sample, the result carries an asterix to explain there are enough sales to make it statistically reliable.