real estate NEWS: Archive


Latest articles by Alan  Skinner

Keeping Realtors Honest
Every so often in any practitioner's life there arises the need (opportunity) for the professional to experience just what the client is or will soon be going through.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How well do we stack up?
I am often asked how we differ from others suburbs, so hope this is of interest.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resistance to change and compliance delay
Change is always resisted by some.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Not a week goes by without some assertions by NS folk about densification and comments/opinions on concepts such as 'overbuilding' and 'absorption'.
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
Demand is rising for all categories of homes with sales numbers up from this time last year and also from the end of last year.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That year is past, long live the new year!
Those who have read the past few editions of this monthly Update will see no surprises in our 2013 twelve month results
Thursday, January 16, 2014

The night before Christmas approaches
It's almost upon us (again!) as we near 2013's closing curtain. A good production or an indifferent presentation?
Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 - The Return Of Our Stability
In the 'peak' or 'valley' jargon, most analysts would likely agree that we are slowly (but surely) bidding farewell to the low point of the trough.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My take - we have reached the turning point
With positive stats being reported at both the North Shore and the overall (Greater Vancouver) levels, I believe we are coming to the end of a turnaround summer.
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Have we reached the turning point?
Yes, we seem to have reached that turning point where sales are increasing and inventories are starting to subside.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

North Shore development? Too fast/too slow
The North Shore's desirability is fuelling development
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

North Shore on parallel up-trend with Metro Van
Overall North Shore demand has been moving up a little month over month this year with overall inventory still higher than last year.
Friday, June 14, 2013

Approaching a balanced market again?
Overall North Shore demand is up a little over the last quarter of 2012.
Saturday, May 11, 2013

Demand, the weather cycles and a surprise
When will the reversing of the cycle happen - soon, soonish, much later or never?
Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to the age of the folk song
Why are we down so much from this time last year? Is it a time for panic?
Monday, March 11, 2013

Don't kill, but do investigate, the messenger
The old adage exhorting us to "not kill the messenger" does not imply that we should be kind and blindly accept everything that is said
Sunday, February 10, 2013

The End or a Beginning?
A comparison of the calendar year results for 2012 vs. 2011
Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Soft Gooey Centre Of A Cycle
The $64,000 question is, of course, when (and how soon) will demand recover?
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Zen And The Gentle Art Of 'Renesting'

Friday, November 09, 2012

Of Beauty Contests And Price Wars
The pairing off of willing sellers and willing buyers was far more plentiful in '11 than thus far in '12
Friday, October 12, 2012

Magic Word - Densification Revisited
High demand locations are running out of that scarce commodity - space.
Thursday, September 13, 2012

We're not quite in sync with Greater Vancouver
While the microcosm of our North Shore has moved in generally the same direction as the overall Vancouver macrocosm, the inventory levels here are generally higher.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Much Warmer, But Not The Market
The softer Real Estate market has been ameliorated by warmer weather and the return of that shiny disc in the sky.
Saturday, July 21, 2012

Like the bus, eventually the cycle arrives
The stages of the cycle are natural and all should be accepted as normal parts of healthy markets.
Friday, June 15, 2012

When cycles are acceptable and when not
The biggest problem with cycles is when they get in the way of what we want to achieve now.
Monday, May 14, 2012

Less homes selling with inventory steady
You would think that our 1st quarter North Shore sales must be down because of high snowfall - but the snow in the area has not been excessive. Could it be the cooler temperatures, the wind and the rain?
Thursday, April 12, 2012

As we 'leap', tax deharmonizes and we get an incentive as well as a day!
The "certainty" that has been lacking is definitely returning and, if this interest persists, we may well be climbing out of the trough of our most recent "down cycle".
Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Strength of Demand
What is demand? What makes it strong?
Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Optimism, Pessimism or Canadianism
Whatever one's personal frame of mind, we can probably agree that the outlook of the majority does likely influence outcomes.
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mistletoe, Snowmen and Cycles
Yes, balance (and a modicum of price relief) has returned to our North Shore although nothing stays the same in markets.
Monday, December 05, 2011

Yes, Sales Are Dipping Down
Like Greater Vancouver, the North Shore is also trending toward the lower end of a balanced market. Our only exception seems to be the detached properties in West Van at the higher end pricewise.
Saturday, November 19, 2011

Who Rules - Supply Or Demand?
I am revisiting an update I wrote some years ago, when we hit a similar patch of "gently increasing inventories" and dropping sales - leading to softening prices.
Thursday, October 27, 2011

Is Patience Truly a Virtue?
Good weather is a great distraction unless you are wishing to sell your current home.
Monday, September 12, 2011

Why Some Homes Sell and Some Don't
What can the serious (and I'm not implying desperate) seller do to ensure a successful marketing of their property?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ignore The Text ... Seek The Sub-Text
It should never be forgotten that Real Estate markets comprise myriads of subsections.
Friday, July 22, 2011

Of Graphs, Giants and Sustainability
We may be forced to question the concept of sustainability based on local incomes and a, possibly outdated, definition of something we used to call affordability.
Monday, June 13, 2011

Still Busy But Less Frantic
It is clear that our North Shore retains its enviable position as a highly sought-after residential locale.
Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Markedly More Active Market
In spite of world ills and economic trials we are seeing an increasing demand for our North Shore homes.
Monday, April 11, 2011

Baby Steps and Only Two Months Old
A clearer picture is slowly emerging with West Van - stronger sales and lower inventory; North Van - increasing sales and a climbing inventory.
Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 has arrived - is it "too much with us"?
I am inclined to believe that we will see higher activity (more sales) on the North Shore overall in calendar 2011.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Final Stretch Of The Bounce-Back Year
What will 2010 bring? Continued price increases? Rate increases?
Saturday, December 11, 2010

Whadd'ya Say When So Little Is Happening? ... And The Silver Lining For Buyers
When numbers of sales of property are dropping to 60/65% levels the amount of "chatter" on the news waves does drop in sympathy.
Monday, November 08, 2010

Dare we admit we're happy?
Report: Throughout the region, North Shore residents appeared to be the happiest of the lot...
Friday, October 15, 2010

Why Can't We Just Refer To Cycles?
Realtors share the same hope of all current home owners that our "most valuable asset" not diminish in value and hopefully grows over time.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Pulse Is Quickening?
Discussion with my colleagues confirms this recent increase in buyer interest.
Friday, August 20, 2010

What is a "Buyers' Market"?
And then a recommendation based on a proposition
Friday, June 11, 2010

Yes We Are Seeing A Build Up Of Inventory
Talk of an impending "buyers' market" in various geographical locations is prevalent and, yes, the "bubble" word is being used in national and some regional press discussion.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Good Time to be a Seller - It Would Seem
Does this automatically imply that this is therefore a bad time to buy?
Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What a Ride for Vancouver and Canada!
I looked back at my opening comments last month and find it somewhat unbelievable that the 2010 Olympics are part of history.
Monday, March 08, 2010

Real Estate - A Backseat to the Games?
Into 2010, and the Olympic Games mere days away from commencement!
Monday, February 08, 2010

Welcome to a New Year/(New Order?)
Clearly there is a drop in that magic level at which one's home would have sold at the height of the Vancouver market (Mar/May '08 ??) and a sale today.
Friday, January 08, 2010

The Final Stretch of the Bounce-Back Year
Alas, demand, supply and price levels are rearing their ugly heads once again!
Friday, December 11, 2009

Winners, Losers and Come-Ons?
Having been involved in no less than three 'multiple offer' transactions on behalf of seller and buyer clients in the past week, I began reflecting on the stress it places on all those participating.
Friday, November 13, 2009

Balance is What We Seek
Watching cycles evolve and change, such as real estate sales on our North Shore, can be fascinating.
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can the media make the market?
Certain media's propensity to 'create' news by highlighting the horror of the 'worst case scenario' - best case scenarios are never used...
Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hot, Hotter, Hottest?
Could there be a theory emerging, following our record breaking heat wave, that the real estate market in B.C. (and particularly Vancouver) is emulating this weather pattern? If you harbour any skepticism ... read the current statistics below!
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where Has All The Inventory Gone?
As with the anti-war song of the 60's, the next line could well be 'Gone to buyers, everyone'.
Thursday, July 09, 2009

How It Should Be Done
Why would sellers contract the services of a Realtor when desiring to sell their home in the current market?
Monday, April 06, 2009

Breathing Out and Breathing In
The $64,000 question is, of course, when (and how soon) will demand recover?
Thursday, December 18, 2008

Of Honour And Optimism
The outcome of our southern neighbour's presidential election and Barack Obama's victory has (and will continue to) inject a long-sought quality of optimism and faith in the future of not only this continent, but well beyond our shores.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Supply/Demand Dictatorship
We know we live in a democracy, but not everybody realizes that there is a tyrant (?) - depends which side you're on - that dictates our lives.
Thursday, October 09, 2008

Beware What You Say Or Thought You Said
The pairing off of willing sellers and willing buyers was far more plentiful in '07 than thus far in '08.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Correction Does Not Mean Disaster
For the buyer, the time is now to start looking seriously - no pressure to compete, time to consider rationally, and a significant breadth of supply.
Thursday, August 07, 2008

Are We In The 'Spin' Cycle?
To sum up, what we are experiencing is that Buyers are cautious and wannabe Sellers are likely regretting not having put their properties on the market 3 or more months ago.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Like the Bus, Eventually the Cycle Arrives
Strong market surges are clearly appearing to be deserting us.
Friday, June 06, 2008

Running ... In Every Sense
So, Supply is increasing but what of Demand?
Monday, May 12, 2008

1st Quarter - Still Going Strong ... Despite ...
It still amazes that the cyclical nature of markets is trotted out, over and over again as something new.
Monday, April 14, 2008

Of Delays and the Inevitable
North Shore demand remains strong and our supply continues to be steady and that supply is certainly not excessive.
Thursday, March 20, 2008

Figures, Fixations and the Future
As long as we accept that 'one month doth not a trend make' we should consider the January figures in that light. Two or three months into 2008 and beyond will start becoming more pertinent.
Monday, February 11, 2008

Beyond '07 and Beyond '08
What, as they say in the classics, does it all mean? Where are we? Who are we? Does it matter? Do we matter? Another year older, yeah, but that really doesn’t matter, does it!
Friday, January 11, 2008

Meaningful Or Meaning 'Less'
North Vancouver average prices are still showing increases of between 1 and 3% per month in all types of accommodation. West Van is mixed with only townhomes and apartments showing a minor declining average price.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's What You See or Think You See
North Van continues its uncanny year over year 11% plus price trend.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Markets Steady - A Time To Plan For Future Changes?
We hear the term 'timing is everything' and I'm sure we believe it, but, alas, oft times we fail to make the effort to ensure that we take advantage of that 'timing'.
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Negativity and Our "Natural" Predisposition
Picked as the number one most liveable city in the world, but Vancouverites can't seem to take a compliment.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Summer's Warmth Permits No Price Cooling
With the recent burst of warmer and sunnier weather we are seeing a continuing parallel boost in year over year prices.
Thursday, August 09, 2007

Buyer (and Reader) Be Aware
May it be possible that some pockets of B.C. and specifically our Lower Mainland are plateauing pricewise and starting to show some build-up in inventory?
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To Stay Put Or To Move?
Let's consider affordability and the whole concept of Quality of Life.
Monday, June 11, 2007

Supply and Demand - Is It That Simple?
Quality of marketing, experience can make the difference in a slowing market.
Monday, May 07, 2007

Magic Word - Densification?
A mere 11% of Vancouver's land is currently used for multiple residences. Can we, will we adapt?
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mixed But Healthy Markets On The North Shore
Demand is healthy with inventory mixed and not nearly enough for a balanced market.
Thursday, March 08, 2007

North Shore Greening and Sustainability
Sustainability issues that jump to mind are, firstly, can the market sustain its "value" levels, however, far more importantly, can we sustain our quality of life (or improve it?).
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Riding the Crest of the Wave?
2007 will be a more 'gentle' year but the long term will reflect further gains.
Friday, January 12, 2007

Consistency and the Cookie Cutter Approach
I have often railed against the blurring of local conditions by an aggregation with larger areas (Vancouver wide, Province wide and the worst one Country wide).
Thursday, December 07, 2006

Of Zen and the Gentle Art of 'Re-Nesting'
Of late, I have seen more and more (or maybe I am just more aware of them) who are planning for (or reacting to) the oft referred to "empty nest syndrome".
Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When Will We Achieve Balance?
North Shore supply may need to rise fairly significantly to satisfy the strength of demand.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Are We Waiting For Godot ... Or Who Knows?
Housing demand is alive and well and building its strength even as we speak.
Monday, September 11, 2006

To Wait Or Not To Wait - Is That The Question?
Do buyers have a few more weeks of "opportunity"? Should sellers wait until September?
Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Solutions - Can We Handle Them?
At some point we will need to 'bite the bullet', ie. increased density, secondary suites, more multi-unit buildings and so on.
Friday, June 09, 2006

Why is Change Regarded as a 'Terrorist'?
All this talk surrounding "affordability" and increasing prices in Greater Vancouver has me thinking what our region will be like in 10 or 50 years...
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The 'Dark Side' of Affordability
Buyer origin data is a dangerous and very disturbing idea.
Monday, April 10, 2006

Beware of 'Logical' Conclusions
Be very skeptical of 'one month trends' whether they be up or down...
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Prices Up, Yes; But What About Affordability?
All other 'reports' aside, supply and demand are the most reliable determinants of value.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bursting Into 2006!
On property assessments, the year that was, and a look ahead at 2006.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Grinding To A Halt!
Grouse Grind, that is, not the real estate market...
Monday, December 12, 2005

Good News Depends On Who You Are and What You Want To Hear
Economic good news - the province's fortunes improving, the GNP rising, unemployment shrinking and the like, is greeted by many with a sour disdain and an "it won't last" reaction.
Monday, November 14, 2005

Yes, We Do Have A Choice
A buyer or seller has the right to be exclusively represented by an agent of their choice.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fact Supporting Theory - And The Power(?) Of The Commentator
What do you do if there are one half as many condo apartments for sale in N/Van this year than last year and you need/want to buy one?
Monday, September 19, 2005

Of Cabbages And Kings ... And Bubbles!
The 'bubble' analogy in real estate doesn't hold water...
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Saying It Like It Is
It seems that in recent months (or more), one cannot open the newspaper (or the mailbox) without seeing an exposé of the Real Estate market.
Thursday, July 14, 2005

Are We There Yet?
The assertion by some that "prices must have peaked" may be as prevalent as the cult of rising property values...
Friday, June 10, 2005

With a spring in our step!
The demand for homes on the North Shore is high and, although the number of units changing hands is generally below that of last year, the average prices continue to forge upward in all segments.
Friday, May 13, 2005

First Quarter Strong Finish After Quieter Start
All average prices on the North Shore/West Vancouver are up this quarter over 2004 1st quarter
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Takin' It All For Granted - So What?
Real estate investments are growing in value and will continue to do so ... and, know what? I don't believe this is some sort of misplaced optimism. Far from it.
Monday, March 07, 2005

A Bright Outlook, But a Tentative Start
North and West Van sales down in January.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Could 2005 Possibly Outdo Last Year?
2004 is done! The results are in ... and ... yes, it was a banner one.
Thursday, January 13, 2005

My Last '04 Update and a Merry Christmas To All
A more realistic supply for buyers, and a value rise in 2005...
Monday, December 13, 2004

Quiet Times -­ And Some Good News
In a quieter time of fewer transactions let's take a moment to look at some 'good news' predictions.
Monday, November 22, 2004

On John Lennon and the Real Estate Market
A less frenetic "seller's" market and a return to normalcy.
Friday, October 15, 2004

Summer Sales Slowdown Continues
Well, its official, the number of sales in July (and I predict August too) are lower than in 2003.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

With Summer's Warmth a Cooler Market? (But Don't Say "Buyers" Yet)
Every category, save one, is evidencing increasing inventory over last year
Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Times They Are A' Changing
Almost all North Shore segments are evidencing a "build-up" (or at least an increase) in homes available for sale.
Monday, June 14, 2004

Can We Return Smiles To Buyers' Faces?
Well folks, it's now official, inventory is up in 4 out of 6 categories on the North Shore.
Friday, May 14, 2004

Is Sanity Returning to Our Market?
The number of new listings appears to be increasing ... the demand still appears to be strong.
Thursday, April 08, 2004

Owners Happy - Wannabe Owners Not
Joy ... and sadness on the North Shore
Monday, March 08, 2004

On Interest Rates and the Price of Plums
When will we get sufficient supply to satisfy the demand of those wanting to abide on our North Shore? ­ I'm beginning to think, never! Am I being overly dramatic? Maybe ... but?
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The Year That Was -­ The Future That Will Be
Inventory continues to be slow in building (shortage of new listings); Demand remains strong in our market area and, yes you guessed it; Prices continue to rise in both North and West Van.
Friday, January 09, 2004

'03 soon to be '04 - ­ So what's changing?
Guess what? ....Economists agree ... average prices have gone up!
Friday, December 05, 2003

Trends continue into the final Q
North shore demand (the desire to buy) continues unabated, with some minor checking in the form of steadily rising prices.
Thursday, October 09, 2003

Two-thirds Way Through and the Frenzy Continues
Everyone understands the clear cut situation of high demand, low supply pushing prices up; but what of high demand, high supply ... or low demand, low supply?
Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Summer, Fireworks and Euphoria!
Low interest rates, Olympic expectations and an overall feeling of confidence are the primary variables in our local real estate landscape.
Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Our North Shore family ... in relative terms
Would it interest you to know that approximately $760 billion of real estate has changed hands on our North Shore so far this year?
Tuesday, June 03, 2003

We only know the past...
North Shore average prices up; volume down
Tuesday, May 06, 2003

It's a cold spring for house hunters
Here on the North Shore we are suffering from a particular malady - no, it has nothing to do with respiratory ailments; it has everything to do with a gross lack of supply.
Thursday, April 10, 2003

Hooray for Economics!
Classical economists like Keynes would have loved the North Shore Real Estate market.
Friday, March 07, 2003

Significant figures - virtually meaningless!
A seemingly poorer performance on the North Shore is likely explainable largely by the inventory figures - there just isn't that much to choose from!
Thursday, February 06, 2003

A year of healthy, sustained growth
Welcome to our newly born year; may it be one with positive happenings on our side of the inlet and beyond our shores.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

WOW .... It's almost the end of '02!
So ? ... what does that mean to us on the North Shore?
Monday, December 09, 2002

As the weather cools, will the market?
The Summer's heat (marketwise) is not abating. When will we poor Realtors rest !!? Touch of humour !
Tuesday, November 05, 2002

The Tyranny of being (an) average!
With only 3 months left to go in 2002 we can safely say that this year will go down as a banner one for the North Shore, real estate-wise.
Tuesday, October 08, 2002

A beautiful summer breaking a billion
As summer wanes, August results continue to evidence increased average prices in all segments of each of the North Shore areas.
Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Up, Up and this is while so many are away
We are into the thick of Summer and the market refuses to abate. Please, homeowners, return home and list your homes; the buyers are waiting patiently. Real Estate 101 says that less inventory, continuing strong demand ..... fill in the blank regarding prices.
Thursday, August 08, 2002

Ho, Hum! It's the Predictability That Gets Annoying
Falling prices are not a strong likelihood on our beloved North Shore for the foreseeable future.
Monday, June 10, 2002

Solid Sales, Solid Market, Firming Prices
Healthy sales continue apace.
Friday, May 10, 2002

Undoubtedly the most dramatic quarter in years
The first quarter of 2002 is now over, and what a quarter! Lots of property sold, prices on the rise and very little product on the market to choose from.
Monday, April 15, 2002

It Just Keeps On!
The lament of the North Shore home seeker (and the Realtors representing them) is "why so few places available?"
Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Exhaustion or Elation, or Both!
North Shore real estate sales show no sign of letting up.
Monday, February 04, 2002

North Shore Real Estate Update: Well That Was a Year That Was!
It was a stellar year for sales in both North and West Vancouver
Wednesday, January 09, 2002

North Shore Real Estate Update: Seems to be North Van's Year
We're almost through 2001 and our 11 month figures continue to show a strong North Van market.
Thursday, December 06, 2001

North Shore Real Estate Update - Back in Lotus Land
Despite world events, North Shore real estate demand is up
Thursday, November 08, 2001

North Shore Real Estate Update: ("Grave") New World?
On Tuesday Sept 11th we awoke and learned that the world had changed. The stability of the 10th had given way to a world economy reeling from a terrorist "body blow"
Thursday, October 04, 2001

Sweltering ... ?
North Vancouver real has been hot - all categories report higher year-to-date sales.
Monday, September 10, 2001

Constant and consistent - that's us!
It is interesting to see the return of real estate investor buying on the North Shore and it is my opinion that these "early investors" are making the best purchases.
Friday, August 10, 2001

In a nutshell ­ North Van real estate sales numbers are up.
Tuesday, July 10, 2001

A NEW ERA ... ?
When I wrote the last Update, the result of the election was purely an educated guess ­ the magnitude of that outcome, however, took most of us by surprise.
Thursday, June 07, 2001

".... rough winds do shake the darling buds of May" as Shakespeare said, and so it is in real estate on the North Shore.
Friday, May 04, 2001

If last year was the year of the West Van dragon; the 1st Q of this one is North Van's chance to strut (or maybe catch up a little).
Thursday, April 05, 2001

After a relatively lacklustre second half in 2000, real estate sales, most especially in North Vancouver have shown dramatic increases in almost all segments.
Monday, February 05, 2001

West Van up year over year in all categories (except static on apartment sales).
Monday, January 08, 2001

Real estate summary: North Van remains down, West Van remains "golden boy"
Friday, December 08, 2000

Almost all local Real Estate analysts predict a strengthening (some, a dramatic one) in the local market once B.C. elects (an inevitable?) provincial Liberal government.
Monday, November 06, 2000

North and West Van have had differing (read unpredictable) real estate report cards.
Sunday, September 10, 2000

A new wave of home buyers from Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have hit Vancouver.
Thursday, August 10, 2000

West Van is ?flavour of the past six months?, with an amazing 30% increase in the number of detached homes sold over the same six months last year. Average prices of these homes have increased by 20% but may now be levelling off with inventory increasing slightly.
Friday, July 14, 2000

More active properties for sale of every type (except one) in North and West Van.
Tuesday, June 06, 2000

This January shows no marked trend from last January ? despite our new Millennium.
Sunday, February 06, 2000

All segments (and dwelling type) experienced increased numbers of sales (?99 vs ?98) ­ from 15% more in both the North and West Van detached markets, to about a 1/3rd increase in all others...
Thursday, January 06, 2000


Friday, December 17, 1999


Monday, November 01, 1999

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