What is a median?

A median appears in many of the RPR charts and calculations. Consider the Median Estimated Home Value chart in the Neighborhood Details page, which represents property estimates for an area.

The median value is the middle value in a list of numbers. If the houses in the area are valued at $58,000, $125,000, $136,000, $143,000 and $157,000, the median home value is $136,000. So the Estimated Home Value chart would show that for a particular month, the median home value was $136,000.

By contrast, the average (or mean) is calculated by adding all the numbers in a list and then dividing by the number of values in the list. In real estate, an average can be skewed by a very high or low value in the list, so it’s a less reliable number to use than the median. In the example above, for instance, the average home value would be $123,800, which is significantly lower than the median.

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