experts: real estate column Thursday, August 08, 2002

Up, Up and this is while so many are away

We are into the thick of Summer and the market refuses to abate. Please, homeowners, return home and list your homes; the buyers are waiting patiently. Real Estate 101 says that less inventory, continuing strong demand ..... fill in the blank regarding prices.

By Alan  Skinner

We are into the thick of Summer and the market refuses to abate. Please, homeowners, return home and list your homes; the buyers are waiting patiently. Real Estate 101 says that less inventory, continuing strong demand ..... fill in the blank regarding prices.

In North Van these have now reconfirmed their positive gain with average prices for detached, townhouses and apartments up year over year by 7%, 7% and 10% respectively. The actual number of sales has softened a little over the last month as one would expect in mid-Summer, but is still markedly up July 01/July 02 year to date - viz. detached +19%, townhomes +30% and apartment units up a whopping 83% ! Inventory is down in all categories from last year at this time detached 25%, townhomes 37% and apartments 42%.

Turning to West Van, we see a similar trend in inventory. This, plus the demand, has pushed average prices up; in the case of townhouses by 12% and apartments by 19%. Only detached are virtually unchanged and this is attributable in part to the high number of higher priced detached homes which changed hands in 2001. This, as I've pointed out in the past, is one of the weaknesses of looking at average prices based on smaller numbers of units and does not necessarily mean that, for example, a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom home in Dundarave could not have moved from, say, $625k to $660k over this period. Always remember that an "average" price increase does not mean an "all" price increase. For completeness, I will give you the year-to-year increase in units sold. Detached (up 36%), townhouses (up 63%) and apartments (up 35%). Yes, our North Shore is certainly an area of desirability.

My previous comments about "expectation of all good bubbles bursting" remain pertinent. The bullishness of our homes seems to be inversely proportional to the bearishness of our stock markets.

I have just sold an Edgemont Village rancher, not much over 1000 square feet, in essentially original condition (great wooden floors) for over $380k. Proof (as if we needed more) that specific locations are most highly prized.

I remain currently available to represent select sellers and buyers. Please feel free to "interview" me by visiting my website (www.AlanSkinner.com) - 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 northshore@canada.com and you'll be assured receipt.

NB: I continue to receive a lot of interest (enquiries and comments) regarding the new feature I added in the last few months. You can now view graphs showing the year to year changes. Simply enter the link shown here http://www.alanskinner.com/graphs/graphs.html or click on Monthly Update on my website (www.AlanSkinner.com)




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