Odd averages

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As usual, Bill Jamieson brings a note of realism into the excited comment on a so-called rise in average house prices (Perspective, 15 August). Any useful average must take account of the mix and volume of transactions.

If there is relative stagnation at the lower end of the market and fewer sales overall than in prior periods, then it would not be surprising if the upper-end sales weighted the average unduly to produce an apparent increase of 3 per cent over the past year.

But in any case, while sometimes being useful, averages should be treated with caution. After all, the average human being has one ovary and one testicle!

John Birkett

St Andrews