experts: real estate column Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Summer Sales Slowdown Continues

Well, its official, the number of sales in July (and I predict August too) are lower than in 2003.

By Alan  Skinner

Well, its official, the number of sales in July (and I predict August too) are lower than in 2003. These months are traditionally (cyclically) quieter months as the more important players (those making the buying decision) are generally more preoccupied with summer activities and enjoyment - great fireworks by the way! It is interesting to see the media making a strong statement about a declining market (despite a continuing surge in average and median prices). One swallow doth not a summer make, or something like that. I guess I am not in the business of selling newspapers or advertising.

The frantic action here on the North Shore over the past 6 months or so has definitely abated; the auction-like sales process, fuelled regrettably by some intentionally underpriced listings, seems to have ceased. Rational (and decidedly more pleasant) property transactions are now occurring. Yes, there are fewer of them in the last month or so, but no, they are not taking place at a lower price level. Plateauing (leveling) in value is probably a good description of the current market conditions. Interest rates have not as yet increased appreciably (but don't neglect getting a preapproved mortgage/interest rate - it costs you nothing and could save you a major amount). Inventory on the North Shore is generally up overall (West Van detached is the only area unchanged). It is this increase in inventory (see below) that is causing sellers to be more realistic in asking prices and allowing buyers the breathing room to look around, not leap into offers (often in competition with others) and make thoughtful decisions. The next question is, of course, when summer is over, what will the market bring?

The actual figures - N/Van average prices up over last year - detached +19%, attached +17% and apartments +25%. Inventory, now unmistakably up - detached + 34%, attached +70% and apartments +49%. Number of sales for the year(YTD) - detached -6%, attached -5% and apartments +7%.

W/Van - all average prices are up - detached +32%, attached +19% and apartments +34%. Inventory - detached (N/C), attached +33% and apartments +68%. Numbers of sales for the year remain mixed - detached +1%,attached -3% and apartments +1%.

Please join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this "update" - send a request now to and you'll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit

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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Recent Articles by this columnist:

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All articles by Alan  Skinner

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