experts: real estate column Monday, November 22, 2004

Quiet Times -­ And Some Good News

In a quieter time of fewer transactions let's take a moment to look at some 'good news' predictions.

By Alan  Skinner

A more "sales active" North Van October (17 more than September) despite slightly delayed statistics. I am thus writing this on Remembrance Day complete with lapelled poppy. At 11 o'clock this AM I did respect a minute's silence during a solitary Grouse Grind hike -­ the full duration of which (in minutes) replicated my new age achieved last Saturday. From above the North Shore, back down to earth and our collective property holdings/aspirations. Overall demand in this arena remains healthy, supply down since last month (but not too out of line with 2003) and median prices up by "high teens to low thirties" (% that is ­ certainly not in Celsius!). Yes, temperatures are dropping, supply is dropping, number of sales is down but prices stay high.

In a quieter time of fewer transactions let's take a moment to look at some "good news" predictions. I had the fortune last week (Nov 4) of attending the annual CMHC "BC Housing Outlook Conference" and précis some of the salient (and extremely positive) points made. In no particular order ­

  1. Our province is in mid-expansion ­ unemployment down and job growth up
  2. Interprovincial immigration positive for the 1st time since 1998
  3. Housing demand projected to rise steadily through to 2011
  4. What we’re experiencing is the pent up demand of the late 90's
  5. 2005 will see strong demand for housing
  6. Estimate approx 6% increase in average prices (2005 over 2004)
... and all this from a Crown Corporation with no provincial political aspirations ....

To round off, the figures - N/Van median prices (YTD) up over last year ­ detached +17%, attached +19% and apartments +20%. Inventory, mixed ­ detached -3%, attached +36% and apartments -9% (all down from Sept/04). Number of sales for the year to date ­ detached -13%, attached -11% and apartments -7%.

W/Van ­ all median prices are up ­ detached +23%, attached +32% and apartments +32%. Inventory ­ detached +5%, attached -60% and apartments -66% (all down from Sept/04 too). Numbers of sales for the year also down ­ detached -8%, attached -2% and apartments -8%. All these higher prices maintain evidence of the healthy state of our local real estate. Continuing short supply (low inventories) will serve to keep prices at current levels or better. Certainly a bright star in a bright BC sky!

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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