experts: real estate column Friday, August 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.

By Alan  Skinner

It isn't often that one can legitimately be pleased that other areas have shown greater percentage increases than we on the North Shore. The reason I say this is that, as reported in last Friday's Vancouver Sun, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board's figures show dramatic increases ("July Home Sales Best In 10 Years") - i.e. July 2001 vs July 2000. This is mainly because some of the sub-areas, notably Richmond and Burnaby have not shown the early 2001 improvements seen in places like our North Shore and have only more recently started their own "rebounds".

It is interesting to see the return of investor buying and it is my opinion that these "early investors" are making the best purchases. Many are seeing good opportunities in the "underrated" (widely held and erroneous belief that "all condo's are leaky") condo arena where low vacancy rates (read high rental demand) is making returns attractive, even on a rental vs cost of borrowing basis.

North Van specifics are as follows: detached sales up 20% YTD vs 2000 with average prices level. Inventory here is down by 12% despite the fact that 154 new listings appeared this July vs 138 in July last year. On the condo side inventory is also down (attached 26% and apartments 13%) with numbers of sale up 59% and 30% respectively for attached and apartments. Average prices likely reflect a preponderance of lower (end) priced units selling (more investors?).

In West Van numbers of sales in all segments are down or equal to last year. Active listings of detached are up by 8% while both attached and apartments are down (5% and 25% respectively). Average prices are erratic (unreliable) due to smaller numbers and a swing in "new" vs "resale" (no new apartments sold in 2001 thus far).

It is generally felt that slower and consistent improvement is preferable to jumps in sales (and prices) over shorter periods and I believe this augers well for our North Shore. Don't forget that, while the numbers of sales (especially N/ Van) are higher, we haven't yet seen the "lower supply, higher demand" translate into significant price increases but, if you are contemplating buying, I wouldn't leave it too long.

Enjoy the "warmth" of the is certainly outperforming this summer's sunshine quotient!

Please join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this "update" - send a request now to and you'll be assured receipt, or phone me at 988-7368 for your monthly fax copy.

Please don't hesitate to call/e-mail with any questions on local real estate, whether buying, selling or just looking at future options.

Alan is the host of "The Real Estate Show" (a Media Mentors' production) - Listen in - Phone in with your questions!

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
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All articles by Alan  Skinner

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