experts: real estate column Monday, February 04, 2002

Exhaustion or Elation, or Both!

North Shore real estate sales show no sign of letting up.

By Alan  Skinner

As I write this, I have just returned from an open house at a new listing in North Vancouver. I printed some 28 "feature sheets" and ran out about 20 minutes before the end of the allotted two hours. Some 6 to 8 parties didn't get a printed record of the information on the home. Now let's talk "supply and demand".

As at Jan 31/2002 there were 214 houses listed for sale in North Van, 89 townhomes and 316 apartments. Compare with Jan 31/2001 300 houses, 106 townhomes and 350 apartments. In total 756 has shrunk to 619. That's the "supply" side. Demand is ....? evidently strong. My open house seems to say this.

Look at Jan 2002 vs 2001. Detached (houses) sold 91 vs 59; townhomes 28 vs 17; apartments 75 vs 27. Good evidence of demand I would say. Once again the question "why?" crops up. Lower rates and, yes, simply a goodly number believe it is the time to buy. Likely many of these folk have been considering doing so for six months, a year or more and something is just saying don't put it off any longer.

And with this demand, what about prices (real estate values)? The averages seem to be moving up, 4% in the case of detached and 6 % for apartments. With a relatively small number of townhomes selling the 3.5% drop here is somewhat inconclusive, but I shall follow all these as the "year to date" figures make these trends more meaningful.

West Van has bolted from the gate with sales numbers showing 50% increase in detached (Jan/Jan); 200% increase townhomes and 100% increase in apartments. Inventory (listings) too is down in all categories; 5.5% detached, 21% townhomes and 16% apartments. Average prices are stable to marginally lower except for apartments which show a 33% increase. Lets hold judgment here for a while pending more "year to date" evidence as volumes of sales are not significant enough and I feel we need more "swallows to make our Summer" or should that be "late Winter"?

After a record 2001 personally, sales-wise, I must confess to a record January (the quiet month) with six sales. Hence the headline above. How long will this buoyancy last? There is little evidence of it flagging, at least in the short term. My prediction is that, yes, prices will show some increase and this will not abate until we see the listings count begin to rise. The demand however, seems to be somewhat constant and I see no good reason for our North Shore to experience a drop in the near or mid-term.

I continue to be here to assist my clients with personalized and experienced service. I am currently available to represent select sellers and buyers. Please feel free to "interview" me by visiting my website ( - then call for a face-to-face meeting at (604-988-7368). I look forward to meeting you. 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 (604) 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.

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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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