experts: real estate column Monday, December 09, 2002

WOW .... It's almost the end of '02!

So ? ... what does that mean to us on the North Shore?

By Alan  Skinner

So ? ... what does that mean to us on the North Shore? We're all a year older. (My friends will find that one amusing!) Supply is down - demand is strong, and what does that mean? If you find that difficult to answer, then this is the first of my Real Estate Updates you've seen.

The simple facts: average prices are all up over last year at this time. North Van detached + 9 %, attached + 7.4% and apartments + 7%. Inventory is down ­ detached (- 31%), attached (- 42%) and apartments (- 43%). Number of sales all up ­ detached + 9.2%, attached + 18% and apartments + 53%.

Change gear (slightly) and move to West Van - average prices also all up ­ detached + 1%, attached + 6.7 % and apartments + 21%. Inventory is down ­ detached (- 13%), attached (- 41%) and apartments (- 47%). Number of sales all up ­ detached + 24%, attached + 45% and apartments + 18%.

Yes, economic theory is not being proven wrong. Scarcity and desire (read Supply and Demand) are moving values up. So, what do we need (want) to do about it? If we are owners, we can i) go along for the ride ii) sell and get off the ride if we've had enough. And, what if we are not owners? We can i) watch the ride from outside or ii) grab a chunk of debt (mortgage) and enter the funfair.

I took a look at last December's Update and note that North Van numbers sold, were up about 40% over the previous year and West Van showed minor increase only in the apartment sector. I noted, too, that that column began the bemoaning of lack of inventory. Will we ever emerge from this position? Stay tuned, and with the January edition (which will mean that 2003 has arrived!), I'll attempt some predictions.

All that remains is for me to wish you and yours a joyful Christmas (there, I've said it!) season. Stay safe and keep warm in your abodes.

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; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.AlanSkinner.com.




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