experts: real estate column Monday, June 14, 2004

The Times They Are A' Changing

Almost all North Shore segments are evidencing a "build-up" (or at least an increase) in homes available for sale.

By Alan  Skinner

I guess Bob Dylan's immortal words become pertinent at some time in all cyclical markets. So, what do we know for sure? Average prices in all sub segments of N/Shore real estate are up year over year by between 17% and 30%. This we've been tracking, and can certainly confirm it is an established trend. Almost all segments are showing increased sales year to date vs 2003 between 3 and 16% ... but now we have a clearer indication (for the second month) that almost all segments are evidencing a "build-up" (or at least an increase) in homes available for sale (May 31,'04 vs May 31,'03). Demand remains relatively strong despite an approximately % increase in mortgage rates over the past month or two. This has not been enough to damage the desire to buy, but we could describe it as "our patient is no longer running a 103 degree fever and while not yet 'normal', is now under 100 degrees" (apologies to those who would prefer Celsius but the meaning is preserved).

"Should I be listing my house, townhouse or apartment?" "Have we missed the market?" - [my thoughts] - yes, consider listing, but get advice from an experienced, full time Realtor as to where your expectations should lie.

"Should I wait to buy?" - [my thoughts] - it depends if you have a "pre-approved" mortgage rate which runs out in the next 60/90 days keep solidly at it. All others get preapproved (it costs you nothing!) and keep looking the realistic seller will negotiate and a fair price can be achieved.

The figures - N/Van average prices up detached +18%, attached +20% and apartments +27%. Inventory, unmistakably up detached + 11%, attached +6% and apartments +28%. Number of sales for the year, up detached +3.6%, attached +12.6% and apartments +16%.

W/Van all average prices are up detached +30%, attached +28% and apartments +17.6%. Inventory detached 14%(note: 151 newly listed in May vs 105 last year), attached +6% and apartments (one less at 41). Numbers of sales for the year slightly mixed detached +4%, attached 7% and apartments +9%.

Mortgage rates appear to have stabilized. Will they remain so? Let's watch. {See the "effects of rate increase" attachment if you have an interest - email me for a copy).

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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