How to Read Housing Market Stats

Homeowners seem to be nuts for information. What is the current market like? Is it a good time to sell? How much is my home really worth? All are valid questions that need to be asked and answered before you can sell your home.

Sometimes finding the answer to our questions is not as straightforward as people think it is. Journals, newspapers and other sources of information are a good start but they often have technical jargon that makes it difficult for normal people to understand what they are referring to.

Common Terms

A common term used when writing about property prices in 'Meriden price'. This phrase means the mid point of all prices of homes sold in a given area during a specific point. It is not the same as the average price and can be affected by the size and location of the houses.

Also found frequently in real estate magazines is the term 'seasonally adjusted'. Not surprisingly people prefer to move home in the summer, when its warm and the kids are off school. Therefore the housing market slumps in the winter and the term 'seasonally adjusted' represents the factor that real estate agents use to compensate for this.

'Price discount' is a relatively straightforward idea and refers to the disparity between the seller's initial asking price and the final sale price. The price discount is given as a percentage and a small percentage usually means the market favors sellers.

Other terminology used includes 'Unsold inventory index', which indicates the pace of the market, and 'Affordability index', which measures whether a typical family can qualify for a standard mortgage to purchase a typical home. An index value of 100 means a median-income family has exactly the amount of income needed to purchase a median-priced home.