experts: real estate column Friday, December 17, 1999


By Alan  Skinner

Basic economics (101) is still driving the real estate market ..... why wouldn?t it? The segments of the market which evidence reduced levels of inventory are seeing improved average prices and those with high (or increasing) levels have yet to post any significant gain. West Van attached (townhouses) is the one exception as inventory is up by 39% while average prices, year to date, have increased by 7%. This aberration is likely due to a dismal year of sales in 1998 - 24 units vs. 47 so far in 1999. West Van apartments are down 14% in active listings with average prices off 6% despite number of sales increasing by 31%.

North Van remains relatively stable price-wise with inventories of both detached and attached homes way below last year. Apartments here, on the other hand, are still in greater supply than last year but are showing strong signs of price stability with both year to date and Nov-to-Nov average prices up from 1998. 45% more apartments have sold in 1999.

I believe it is this significant increase in the purchase of apartments that
is the strongest economic indicator of the moment. First time buyers are becoming more active. The ?wait and see? syndrome exacerbated by the ?how stable are our job prospects?? concern does not appear to be as prevalent among younger couples as it was earlier this year. Discussion with other realtors confirms this suspicion and indeed, a number of cases of first timers jumping straight to lower end detached homes gives further indication of improving optimism.

The North Shore lion is moving firmly into the upcoming century.

On that note and on behalf of my family and myself, I wish you and your kin a joyful festive season. May you achieve the goals for which you are striving and may we all embrace a positive outlook as we move together as neighbours and fellow Canadians into our new Millennium.

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Recent Articles by this columnist:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How well do we stack up?
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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
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All articles by Alan  Skinner

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