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DENVER–In a mathematical anomaly, the average price of a condo sold and closed in August fell by almost $3,000 from July, while the median, or middle, price rose to a new record. The data is based on Metrolist figures released on the last full week of each month. The numbers are adjusted by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, so the months with four weeks are comparable to the months with five weeks.

The report shows the average price of a condo sold is $171,442, down from $174,244 in July. In August 2000, the average price was $170,195.

The average price of a single-family home, by comparison, rose to a new record of $288,542, topping the previous record set in July of $287,103. A year earlier, the average price was $274,802.

The median prices of condos and single-family homes both set records.

The median price of a condo rose to $155,000 from $153,000 in July, while the median price of a single family home rose to $238,500 from the previous record in July of $238,500.

What is most puzzling is why the median price of a condo would rise, while the average price dropped.

More often than not, the average price of a home will rise when the median will stay steady or drop. That is because the median is less likely to be skewed by a few expensive sales than the average. For that reason, the median is typically considered the better indicator of a market than the average price.

“I guess it’s just the way the mix of sale prices that occurred this month,” Paul Wiesner, CFO and VP of finance tells GlobeSt.com.

“Let’s say you had 200 sales and lined them all up in a row. No. 100 would be the median. It has to be the mix of sales that caused the median to be higher than the average this month.”

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