experts: real estate column Tuesday, November 05, 2002

As the weather cools, will the market?

The Summer's heat (marketwise) is not abating. When will we poor Realtors rest !!? Touch of humour !

By Alan  Skinner

The Summer's heat (marketwise) is not abating. When will we poor Realtors rest !!? Touch of humour !

Lets look at the figures North Vancouver detached sales numbers (YTD) up 12.7%, average prices up 8.6% and inventory down 36%. Townhome numbers up 28%, average prices up 8.9% and inventory down 48%. Condo apartment numbers up 71%, average prices up 8.8% and inventory down 41%.

West Vancouver detached numbers (YTD) up 26%, average prices up 1% and inventory down 13%. Townhome numbers up 11%, average prices up 5.4% and inventory down 36%. Condo apartment numbers up 22%, average prices up 19% and inventory down 32%.

Yes, the supply (or lack thereof) and demand (high) factors are doing what the economists postulate they should do. Prices have unequivocally risen over the past year. With the lack of supply (yes, folks, we start with a relatively small housing stock here on the North Shore) and the evident desire of a large number of persons wishing to make this area their home, the general direction of average prices is obvious.

Last month I discussed the problems with averages and I'd like now to warn against the other measure used to compare period A with period B median values. No, this is not the thing in the middle of the road (although clearly has the same root) but simply the central value of, for example, all detached homes sold in February. Assume that figure to be 21; then in order of ascending value, the 11th value would be the median. This is favoured by some where there is a major gap between the lower priced homes and the most expensive. I have made the decision to stick to average prices for sake of consistency. Again beware of placing too much emphasis on these statistical tools unless based on significant volumes.

....And on that note of significance of numbers, I conclude this commentary on our "area of significance". Don't forget to exercise your franchise on the 16th !

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.




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