Calgary Real Estate Board Launches New MLS Home Price Index

Posted by Jeff Mikolajow on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 12:33pm

The Calgary MLS House Pricing Index has launched today, and is the best way to estimate home prices based on specific features that are typical to an individual neighbourhood. Using information such as square footage, number of rooms, bathrooms and half-bathrooms, whether the property has a fireplace and/or finished basement, lot size or the age of the property, the Calgary MLS HPI is the best way to determine pricing trends and gain insight into a particular housing market.

Calgary home prices up from a year agocalgary_real_estate_board_logo

New price tool shows year-over-year growth

Calgary, February 6, 2012 – The year-over-year value of homes in Calgary increased in January 2012 by 2.7 per cent, according to a new price measurement tool vetted by academia and financial industry experts, including the Bank of Canada.

The new MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was introduced today by the Canadian Real Estate Association in partnership with Canada's five largest real estate boards – Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

The new tool measures how typical properties are valued in the market rather than relying on average and median prices. In January, for example, the average price declined year-over-year, but only because more homes were sold in the lower-price ranges compared to the previous year, when more luxury home sales occurred.    

"By combining information from the MLS® HPI with their own knowledge, experience and skills, REALTORS® can help their clients approach one of life's most important decisions – that of buying or selling a home – with greater confidence," says Bob Jablonski, president of CREB®.

The MLS® HPI is calculated using a sophisticated statistical model that estimates 
home prices based on their quantitative and qualitative features that are typical to that neighbourhood, such as square footage, number of rooms above the basement level, number of bathrooms and half-bathrooms, whether the property has a fireplace and/or finished basement, lot size or the age of the property, to name a few. 

"The MLS® HPI is the best tool to determine true price trends in the market," says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® chief economist. "The commonly used average and median prices can be misleading as they are easily affected by the composition of what is sold."

For buyers and sellers, the MLS® HPI determines what a typical home is valued at in their neighborhood, as well as how this compares to other neighborhoods. In addition, it provides a true price trend for their community.

"We are excited to be able to offer the purest, most accurate housing data that is currently available," Jablonski says. "The MLS® HPI  can be used to not only determine pricing trends, but also to gain insight into the typical home in a specific market segment, adding value to the existing tools REALTORS® can use to value homes for both buyers and sellers."

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