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 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

How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All articles by Alan  Skinner

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