experts: real estate column Monday, April 15, 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.

By Alan  Skinner

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.

Just a sample of the actual figures ≠ since the first quarter of 2001 we have seen active listings in North Van drop by 22% - detached; 25% - townhomes and 30% - apartments. Units sold in the 1st Q have increased by 35% -detached; 56% - townhomes and 133% - apartments. I can now say that I do believe that average prices are truly on the rise; this being the 2nd month where all segments in N/Van are up on a year over year basis, viz. 2.5% - detached; 3% townhomes and 13% - apartments. Total dollars spent in N/Van in this 1st Q are approx $254 million (up 58% from last year).

West Van (based on a smaller number of units overall) shows similar figures with active listings dropping 7% - detached; 29% - townhomes and 22% - apartments. Units sold in the 1st Q increased by 35% - detached; 50% - townhomes and 51% apartments. Because of the small number of units, average prices are a little unreliable, especially in townhomes and apartments (27 and 44 units respectively) ≠ attached down 8% and apartments up 18%. Detached are a little more reliable (213 units) showing an increase in the average price of 8%.

Yes folks, lack of supply is still a problem, and demand continues to be vigorous. For you buyers out there, make sure you are availing of the services of a good realtor, one who is daily following the new listings as they come on the market. For those wanting to sell, the services of a full time, active practitioner, fully abreast of the current market conditions is imperative to ensure top dollar (but no wishful thinking which will inevitably cause the property to become a stale listing finally attracting a lesser selling price).

It seems that last monthís advice to the potential buyers in our midst has turned out to be timely i.e. "make sure that your friendly banker or broker has you preapproved for mortgage financing, and the interest rate locked in." The rates have climbed about 1/2% to 1/4%. I repeat that there is no charge for this and, if it takes a month or more to find your new home, you will at least be protected from any further interest rate increases (and will get the reduced rate if rates should drop). Donít neglect the potentially major savings here.

I remain 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.

FLASH - A new feature has been added - North and West Vancouver graphs showing how prices and sales have changed. Take a look - these will be updated monthly (click on the link or copy and paste into your browser).

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

NB: I have received a lot of interest (enquiries and comments) regarding the new feature I added last month. You can now view graphs showing the year to year changes. Simply click on the link shown here (or copy and paste into your browser).

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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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