While the HPI Benchmark is, to some extent, "made up" by the Real Estate Board, the Median Average reflects actual numbers. The reason I show the median rather than a "regular" average is because it doesn't skew (as much) if there are a few really big sales. It does skew, though, if things are only selling at the high or low end of the market.
The easiest way to predict future real estate values and sales volume is based on supply and demand. As long as people still want to live in Vancouver, and our population is rising faster than new houses are being built, prices HAVE to go up in the long term. Prices can only ever go down when supply exceeds demand for an extended period of time.
You can take the demand (sales volume) and the supply (active listings) and do some simple math to come up with a "sales to actives" ratio. For example, if 10 properties sold last month, and there are 20 properties currently for sale, then the ratio is 0.5 (50%). The number is a snapshot that allows you to predict how "hot" the market is going to be in the coming months. The higher the number, the "hotter" the sellers market -- where prices tend to rise, sales volume is high, and multiple-offers on houses are commonplace. When this number gets low then you end up with a buyer's market, and sales volume and prices tend to drop off.
A "balanced market" is around 0.2. Lower is a buyer's market, and higher is a seller's market. Beware that the numbers shown in these graphs are an average for the west-side. Real estate markets are extremely local -- and your neighbourhood or property type may not be the same! If you'd like a similar graph for your region or property type, please email me and I'll send you one.