experts: real estate column Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Two-thirds Way Through and the Frenzy Continues

Everyone understands the clear cut situation of high demand, low supply pushing prices up; but what of high demand, high supply ... or low demand, low supply?

By Alan  Skinner

Economic theory espouses a robust model of the extent of supply, the vigour of demand and the resulting level of prices. Its applicability to our North Shore property market is uncontested. Obviously everyone understands the clear cut situation of high demand, low supply pushing prices up; but what of high demand, high supply ... or low demand, low supply? Many of us, myself included, have been saying for some months that we are simply suffering high demand, low supply and thus prices are escalating. I have taken a serious look at supply of late and am coming to the conclusion that supply is not really the main culprit here. Indeed we are close to 2002 figures for homes listed in North Van (almost 97% level). West Van is off 17% but still not appreciably below average. The frenetic factor is demand (remember, the one we can't measure numerically?) - supply (properties in the "for sale" inventory) and prices (actual dollar averages) are the numerically measurable factors.

The real message from this.... If you are contemplating selling, this powerful demand should not be taken lightly; neither should the low inventory level. Call for a sales evaluation. I'd be happy to oblige.

Our figures - N/Van average prices obviously all up over last year - detached by 15%, townhomes 13% and apartments 11%. Generally fewer sales - detached down 5%, townhomes down 13%, the only exception being apartments which are up 7%. Very interesting to note is the 169 apartments sold in August 2003 vs 66 sold in August 2002. Lots of investing pre-Olympics ?? The listing inventory compared to Aug 31, 2002 is detached, 21% lower, townhomes 33% lower and apartments 28% lower.

W/Van average prices are generally up - detached 11%, apartments 8% with townhomes again down 9%. Fewer units have been sold here (year to date) vs 2002 - detached down 7%, townhomes down 7% and apartments down 8%. Inventory too remains down at - detached 24% lower, townhomes 39% lower and apartments 33% lower.

It's a bit like buying gas, folks. Will next week, next month provide a lower price? (...or do we pay 91.9c/litre today?). All we can say with conviction is that our "future" hindsight will always be 20/20.... Could've.... Should've!!

I am 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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