experts: real estate column Thursday, April 08, 2004

Is Sanity Returning to Our Market?

The number of new listings appears to be increasing ... the demand still appears to be strong.

By Alan  Skinner

I am picking up on a throw away comment I heard in my office a week or so ago. The number of new listings appears to be increasing (the "new listings" board at my office has doubled week over week recently). But... is "sanity returning"? I herewith return (without apology) to my trusted "supply/demand" analysis. The demand still appears to be strong - witness, my last Sunday open house (new listing) with some 48/52 parties attending, despite the other things to do on a sunny (rare?) weekend. The supply (read growth in inventory) is still predominantly negative, despite e.g. N/Van and W/Van new detached listings increasing March over March by 23% and 9% respectively. Interest rates remain low and, yes, we continue to have persuasive evidence of unfulfilled demand.

Prediction: we will have continuing high demand with very slow growth in inventory leading to a gradually slowing "price curve". Ultimately the question of the North Shore "plateauing"?? (there may not be such a word but there will be such an occurrence). I'll go out on a limb here and say 12 to 18 months. Some specific areas will "plateau" earlier and some select ones may well continue beyond the 18 month time frame.

North Shore figures? North Van average prices continue to climb - detached +15%, attached +22% and apartments +29%. Inventory is largely down -detached -18%, attached +7% (8 more "new" units in inventory) and apartments -30%. Number of sales for the year, mixed -detached -2%, attached +13% and apartments +12%.

West Van - all average prices are up - detached +29%, attached +30% and apartments +21%. Inventory mixed - detached -35%, attached +3% (again 13 added "new" units in inventory) and apartments +82% (also a build up in "new"). Numbers of sales for the year slightly mixed - detached +9%, attached -16% and apartments -2%. Remember we are always comparing the "year to date" from last year to this year. 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

Your questions regarding the market, your decisions, contemplations, opinions of my musings, are all welcomed via that medium (or by phone) - hey, pop-in and say "Hi" to me at an open house - I'd love to see you.




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