Real estate can be tricky to track stats for. There’s so much variation between different properties. Average sales prices get pushed back and forth based on the sales mix.
There are two sources for a more consistent tracking of house prices. One is the Teranet House Price Index, which tracks only properties that have at least 2 sales. This ‘sales pair’ approach tracks the effect of specific properties changing price each time they’re sold. There are two drawbacks to this index: It doesn’t track improvements to a property and it’s delayed by about 3 months.
The other approach is the REBGVs MLSlink HPI based on a hypothetical property that is averaged to specific traits: number of rooms, finished basement etc. The MLSlink HPI has been a consistent gauge of the local market since the mid 90s.
That’s changing now. Vancouver was the only market with a House Price Index, but the old index has been thrown aside for a new one from the CREA that is consistent between Vancouver, Fraser Valley Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
For data-hounds, this means that you’ll not be able to directly link trends in the new index to earlier data. January 2012 becomes the zero month of this new system. Ladies and gentlenerds, start your graphs!