I like infographics because it does make statistics a little easier to digest. Take a look at the one I posted below, it's a great way to look at San Antonio's market in a snapshot. To understand these numbers then keep reading to see what they really mean, no punn intended.
Trends are really what we are assessing here to help you make informed decisions. Not everyone understands statistics so let me give you a little break down so you'll be able to see the trends for yourself.
What does "Average" really mean? There are 3 ways to measure "Average" as we think of the term: Mean (aka Arithmetic Mean), Median, and Mode. Mean is the sum of all the items divided by the # of items. It's not a bad tool but not the best in most cases. Median means to sort by number size then take the number in the middle. This is a better way to measure averages in real estate because the outliers (numbers in extreme) don't have such a significant impact. Mode is the most commonly recurring number in the list of items which isn't very relevant in real estate. Look at the spreadsheet I included here.
The Mean is $243,900. I would use that number to describe the average price of a home in a market. Compare that to what you might find in LA and then you know on averge we are consideralby cheaper. To be really useful I'd want to see the whole list to really make sense of it, not just $243,900.
The Mode is $101,999. I find this number pointless in this scenario and in most real estate cases. Where it might be useful is if you wanted to know how many other sellers have sold their house for the exact price you were thinking of pricing, especially if there are several homes your size and price range. It might tell you how you fare amongst those. Of course you need to factor in home condition and features, not just size, age, etc.
The Median is $234,999 is the best statistic if you want to understand market behavior. It tells you that homes are selling mid $200s. But don't read too much into that because there are other factors as is always the case. Its just one measure. It does mean, explicitly, that there are more homes hovering in the $200s but perhaps that's due to average wages in the market support that. If I had a home to sell in the $500s I wouldn't let that bother me too much because even those homes, which are less than 11% of the market presence, are getting multiple offers when in a good area and in good condition. While fewer are selling in general, we have an influx of buyers from CA still who have no problem dropping cash on a nice house that would cost 2-4 x that in their market.
The bottom line here is to know the difference in these terms to not throw you off when tyring to understand market activity.
I hope you find this useful and even moreso, when the time is right for you to sell your home you will choose me to help you sell.