experts: real estate column Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Summer, Fireworks and Euphoria!

Low interest rates, Olympic expectations and an overall feeling of confidence are the primary variables in our local real estate landscape.

By Alan  Skinner

Low interest rates, Olympic expectations and an overall feeling of confidence are the primary variables in our local real estate landscape. We are surrounded by the Happy and the Less-than-Happy. The Happy are those who are currently owners and are seeing their investment appreciating. The Less-than-Happy are those wishing to find a home and are experiencing frustration and delay in their search. Believe me, Realtors like myself would love to create more happiness!

An obvious reason the populace may buy fewer homes in one year vs the preceding year would be a reduced desire to buy, i.e. lower demand. As a Realtor currently working with many buyers, I can attest to the fact that a reduced desire to buy is not the concern of the past months. We simply have too many buyers chasing too few listings and, voila - prices continue to climb and frustration continues to prevail. It is also likely (and there is some evidence of this) that these climbing prices will drive (and have driven) some potential buyers from our North Shore.

I'll start with the prices as these tend to have become a regular appetizer (if not a main course) at North Shore dinner parties (barbecues of late). North Van average prices are all up quite markedly over 2002 - detached 11%, townhomes 13% and apartments 8%. All categories have seen fewer sales - detached down 8%, townhomes down 17% and apartments down 7%. Active listings too remain lower - detached down 25%, townhomes down 20% and apartments down 25%.

West Van average prices are up - detached 11%, apartments 3%, with the exception of townhomes which are down 12% (remember that this is a relatively small segment in West Van and with such a small sample size does not indicate a deterioration in W/Van townhome values). Here we once again see far fewer homes sold vs 2002, detached down 9%, townhomes down 12% and apartments down 11%. Inventory (or current listings) is amazingly low at detached 22% lower, townhomes 50% lower and apartments 35% lower.

The big question - will we see a resurgence in homes offered for sale once we are finished with our Summer hols ? We can but wait and see!

I remain ready, willing and able to assist Buyers and Sellers dealing with property on the North Shore. My strong suggestion is for you to "interview" me by visiting my website ( - then call for a face-to-face meeting at (604-988-7368) - or pop into one of my open houses - 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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