Search

The median price and Onest's rating system

Contrary to many other countries, information about the prices of sold properties is not always publicly available in Switzerland. Nevertheless, most homesearchers are keen to better understand the evolution of property prices. In the absence of sold property prices using the median calculation is probably the closest indicator of price developments and market trends. Many real estate professionals have been using the median price as an important measure to discuss property prices. If you are looking to buy or rent a property in a specific location or postcode, the median price will give you a first impression of the price of real estate. Find out how a better understanding of the median price can add an extra dimension to your property purchasing skills.

What is a median price?

Median means "in the middle”, i.e. it is the middle value in an ordered set of numbers.

Example 1: 5 properties are advertised with the following asking prices: CHF 900’000, CHF 950’000, CHF 1’000’000, CHF 1’100’000 and CHF 1’200’000. The median asking price will be CHF 1’000’000 (property number 3), as it has 2 lower priced properties and 2 higher priced properties.

We calculate the median price per m2 based on a property’s net living surface.

Example 2: 5 properties are advertised with the following net living surface prices per m2: CHF 900, CHF 950, CHF 1’000, CHF 1’100 and CHF 1’200. The median price per m2 is CHF 1’000 (number 3), as it has 2 lower priced properties and 2 higher priced properties.

Why use a median price instead of an average price?

The median is different to the average, which equals the total amount of prices divided by the number of properties. Using the above example, the average prices would be CHF 1’030’000 and CHF 1’030/m2 respectively. The reason why the median price is used rather than the average is mainly because it is a more reflective indicator of the performance of the market. An average can be skewed by a large number in the high or low range. Therefore, technically speaking, the median is more accurate than the average because it is not adversely influenced by extreme numbers.

Benefits of using a median price?

The median is widely used to estimate the asking price of a property. It gives you an idea of the price of real estate in a certain area and shows how it has been performing over recent months, years or decades.

If you wish to sell your property, the median can help you compare your property to other properties advertised on the market.

Drawbacks of using a median price?

A drawback of using the median is that if in one particular month there is a large number of expensive (or cheaper) properties, the median is also much higher (or lower) than usual. For this reason, it is better to look at the evolvement of a median price over a longer period.

Every property is different and a median price only gives you an indication. Always seek the advice of a real estate professional if you wish to sell, or a financial institution, if you wish to purchase a property.

Medians do not describe the value of a property, rather they serve to show how prices may have generally changed. In that way, they are a guide only. The final sale price will still depend on the actual property, the seller’s preferred price, the level of competition and if there is any seasonality in the market.

How often are median prices updated?

We refresh medians for all properties daily. On rare occasions, this schedule is interrupted by operations associated with algorithmic changes or the implementation of new features.

How is the median price calculated?

The median is calculated by an automated software process.

How does Onest calculate a median price?

The basis of our calculation is a minimum of 30 properties. If there are less than 30 properties in a certain location, we advise you with an exclamation mark to check surrounding cities and villages to get a better understanding of property prices in the nearby vicinity.

How does Onest's star rating system work?

To assist you in determining if the price of a property is in line with the local median price, we have developed a rating system from 1 to 5 stars. It compares the net living surface (net space) per m2 versus the median price per m2 in a specific location. If there are less than 30 properties available in a specific area, we advise you to check surrounding cities and villages to get a better understanding of property prices in the nearby vicinity.

Please note that our comparisons merely serve as a guidance and first indication. Please bear in mind that properties are not all the same and sometimes are unique to time, location and property features. Median statistics are also more reliable if looked at over the long term. If you wish to buy or rent a specific property, it is recommended to contact a local specialist for a professional valuation.

Rating
A property's net living surface space per m2:
-10% and cheaper compared to the local median
-10% to -5% cheaper compared to the local median
-5% to 0% cheaper compared to the local median
0% to +10% more expensive compared to the local median
10%+ more expensive compared to the local median