Why does the median estimated value for an area seem inaccurate in charts?

In areas with a limited number of property valuations, the median estimated value calculated in charts can seem inaccurate or skewed. This can occur in non-disclosure states, where only a fraction of properties may display an AVM. (Property valuations are generated by a specialized computer program called an AVM, or automated valuation model, that assembles public property records to calculate a value. In non-disclosure states, this information may be limited or unavailable.)

Because the median is computed exclusively using properties with an AVM or RVM®, the result can appear to misrepresent the typical value of properties in that area as a whole. For example, if the only properties with valuations in an area happen to be high-priced properties, the median estimated home value for the area, as shown in charts, will appear artificially high.

The larger the sample size, the easier it is to calculate a median valuation that appears accurate to agents in the area. If the median valuation appears inaccurate in an area that you know well, please remember the underlying factors that could influence that valuation.