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Welcome to the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Here you will find various topics of interest according to their relevant sections below. Click on each question to expand or minimize the answer. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please visit the Contact page to submit a question.
Account Information
How long is my download available?
After completing the checkout process and receiving a confirmation e-mail, users will have 60 days to download their data.
Release Dates
When are new data released?
New aggregate data are released by CREA every month on the 15^{th}, or the nearest following business day. New unit data becomes available one week after the aggregate data.
General Data
What is the difference between aggregate and unit statistics?
Aggregate statistics provide summary data on a board level, provincial, or national basis. These statistics are commonly referred to in CREA’s national news release and other media publications, and include data such as overall home sales, new listings, average price, etc.
Unit statistics provide a more detailed drill-through for users looking for data from a specific area within a board, or for a specific housing type. For instance, users looking to find median sale price information on semi-detached homes in the Maple Ridge area of Vancouver may do so here. Please note: unit data are available for only a limited number of boards and associations.
In what format is the data available?
Data is available for download as an XML file.
Aggregate Statistics
How is the national residential average price calculated?
The national average price is calculated by summing the residential dollar volume across all boards and associations in Canada, and then dividing this by the total number of residential sales from those boards and associations.
Average price for Quebec
The average price information for the province of Quebec is provided to CREA on a weighted basis by the QFREB.
Unit Statistics
What is the difference between median and average price?
A median and an average are two statistical methods of calculating the “middle” of a series of numbers.
A median price is simply the price that lies directly in the middle of a series of prices when arranged from lowest to highest, having an equal number of entries on either side. If there is an even number of entries, then the median is calculated as the average between the two entries closest to the middle.
Ex: Consider Series 1 ($125,000, $250,000, $265,000, $283,000, $327,000). The median price is $265,000, because it lies directly in the middle and has an equal number of prices (2) on either side.
If the series is expanded to include one more price at the end, so that we have Series 2 ($125,000, $250,000, $265,000, $283,000, $327,000, $512,000), the median price is now $274,000. This is equal to the average of the two numbers closest to the middle [($265,000+$283,000)/2=$274,000], since there is no single price that lies directly in the middle of the series with an equal number of prices on either side.
An average price is calculated by adding a series of prices together and then dividing this total by the number of prices that have been summed. Please note that this calculation cannot be performed using a group of median or average prices to find another average or median price (i.e. cannot use the “average of averages” or “median of medians” as a statistically relevant figure).
In Series 1 ($125,000, $250,000, $265,000, $283,000, $327,000) the average price is $250,000 [$125,000+$250,000+$265,000+$283,000+$327,000=$1,250,000; $1,250,000/5=$250,000).
If we use Series 2, the average price becomes $293,667 (rounded to the nearest dollar).
What is “skewing”?
Note that in the section above, the average price is lower than the median price for Series 1 ($250,000<$265,000) and higher for Series 2 ($293,667>$274,000). This is because the average price can be skewed lower or higher based on prices at either end of the spectrum.
For instance, consider the series ($250,000, $265,000, $275,000, $300,000, $975,000). The median price of this series is $275,000; the average price is $413,000. The average price has been skewed much higher because it takes into account the $975,000 sale price at the high end, where the median price only represents the middlemost figure of the group.
If we change the series to be ($25,000, $265,000, $275,000, $300,000, $325,000), the median price remains $275,000, but the average price has dropped to $238,000. The average price has been skewed lower by the extremely low sale value; although this average price may seem unreasonable, it illustrates how average prices can swing wildly when affected by extreme values.
The skewing of average price is an issue that has arisen in the past when quoting the national residential average price figure. It is important to note that an increase in sales activity in high-priced areas will often result in an increase in the national average price, since many expensive home sales are being added to the calculation. This does not necessarily mean that the general price level is trending upward, but rather that the average price is being skewed by these high-end transactions.