experts: real estate column Tuesday, October 08, 2002

The Tyranny of being (an) average!

With only 3 months left to go in 2002 we can safely say that this year will go down as a banner one for the North Shore, real estate-wise.

By Alan  Skinner

With only 3 months left to go in 2002 we can safely say that this year will go down as a banner one for the North Shore, real estate-wise.

Before I launch into the usual sales/prices up, inventory down commentary (this year's usual, anyway), I want to spend a moment talking of the dangers of averages. To illustrate where I'm heading, I'll pose a nonsensical question "what is the average of 3 oranges and 4 apples?" All right you know where I'm going. Comparing Greater Vancouver inventories, average sale prices and number of sales is, at best, a collection of statistics derived from many disparate locations, some forging strongly ahead, some lagging (and in fact some possibly deteriorating). The collective result is, for example, an average Vancouver (or B.C.) price, which may have headed up by, say, 4% (or for example, dropped last month by 1%). What we are seeing reported (likely in the Vancouver press or by a realtor reproducing the Greater Vancouver R/E Board "overall picture") is that accumulated and "watered down" average which is generally meaningless in the smaller region within that "megapolis". It may be of great interest to the external "city" watchers who are comparing Calgary with Winnipeg, or Toronto with Vancouver.

Watch out therefore for the newsletter that contains ... "the President of the Real Estate Board says ..." unless you seek this aggregated information. Not that the Board's official press release isn't valid and accurate (as an ex-vice President I must defend these statements!) but is it indicative of the conditions/results prevailing within our North Shore acres?

What of those acres? North Vancouver number of sales (YTD) is up 11%(detached), 32% (townhomes) and 61% (apartments). Average prices (YTD) are up 8% (detached), 8%(townhomes) and 10% (apartments). Inventory is down from this time last year by 27%(detached), 57% (way less than half townhomes) and 43% (apartments).

West Vancouver number of sales (YTD) is up 28% (detached), 66% (townhomes) and 21% (apartments). Average prices (YTD) are up 2.5% (detached), 8% (townhomes) and 15% (apartments). Inventory is down from this time last year by 12% (detached), 30% (townhomes) and 16% (apartments). There! - I did it without a breath!

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.

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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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