experts: real estate column Monday, September 10, 2001

Sweltering ... ?

North Vancouver real has been hot - all categories report higher year-to-date sales.

By Alan  Skinner

You may not believe it but in North Vancouver this has been a hot summer ..... real estate wise, that is. All categories report higher year-to-date sales ≠ namely detached up 20%, townhomes up 56% and apartments up 37%. West Vancouver on the other hand is off, numbers-wise, by detached 7%, townhomes 12% and apartments 7%. Why this discrepancy? Well, firstly West Van is a smaller market, averaging about 1/3 of the dwelling units of North Van and, yes, the obvious, West Van average prices are higher ≠ approximately 75/80% in detached and about double in townhome and apartments. These higher averages make them more vulnerable to greater swings based on economic factors.

Is it a good time to buy ? In both jurisdictions ≠ yes. Why? - average prices have hardly increased from last year (some have softened markedly ≠ e.g. West Van apartments down 10% and even North Van apartments down 10%). Will this change ? I know Iím not alone in this ≠ most assuredly yes. Why ? The demand and supply factors ("back to those are we?") are such that, especially in North Van, more buyers are chasing fewer homes. Inventories in each category continue to drop ≠ (detached 26%; townhomes 18% and believe it or not even apartments by 12%).

The other significant reason why it is a good time to buy (other than the low availability of rental accommodation and rising costs there) is that mortgage rates are currently still amazingly low; 5 year term mortgages in the 6.2% or lower range and 1 year in the 5% range.

While I'm on the subject of interest rates, those of us homeowners whose mortgages are coming due for renewal should not underestimate the ability to negotiate a better deal on that renewal rather than the "please sign and return renewal form" that your current mortgage lender may mail you. Shop around; as an ex-banker, you better believe that I do!

Please join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this "update" - send a request now to northshore@canada.com 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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Related Links:

http://www.alanskinner.com/

http://www.cfun.com/realestateshow.htm

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