experts: real estate column Monday, December 13, 2004

My Last '04 Update and a Merry Christmas To All

A more realistic supply for buyers, and a value rise in 2005...

By Alan  Skinner

The good news - for me at least - is that I am now able to access more comprehensive Real Estate Board stats and I have my "average prices" back! Boy, am I easily pleased! The other noteworthy development is a better bead on inventory (remember - "supply") and now a note on this market factor. Toward the end of '03 we started to see an unusual (and significant) drop in our traditional levels of active listings. You'll note in the "stats" section below an apparent surge in current inventory. Remember, the "snap shot" of Nov 30/03 listings count vs. that of Nov 30/04 makes it seem so, owing to the abnormally low 2003 figures e.g. N/Van detached with 150 homes Nov '03 vs. 223 this year on that date. Hey Presto an almost 50% rise but bear in mind that the 223 is still relatively low historically. Put simply - it would be wrong to read this as a "glut" of homes on the market.

The other significant point is that (as per the figures) far fewer properties have changed hands this year vs. last. Hooray for a more realistic supply for buyers. Buyers, a good time to get mortgage rates preapproved! The YTD average prices are clearly maintaining their position well up over 2003's.

You will note that as a small "Christmas gift to existing owners" I have attached a graph (PDF format) of Real Estate prices from 1980 to date - this format is only available for Greater Vancouver (in the New Year I'll attempt to provide some N/Van and W/Van graphs). NB - those reading the print version of this update should visit my website (below) to access the graph - see Monthly Update.

Well, graphs are fun, but analysis can be more meaningful and with our stable interest rates, the market is likely to show continued New Year value growth and my early prediction is (after the current minor correction) a value rise in 2005 with more sales (numbers) than '04.

Finally, the numbers - N/Van average prices (YTD) up over last year - detached +17% attached +16% and apartments +19%. Inventory, all up - detached 48%, attached 172% and apartments 54%. Number of sales for the year to date - detached -12%, attached -10% and apartments -10%.

W/Van - all average prices are up - detached +28%, attached +22% and apartments +47%. Inventory - detached +20%,attached +56% and apartments +7%. Numbers of sales for the year also down - detached -10%,attached-6% and apartments -9%.

Now, as the Season approaches - embrace your families, give some extra cheer to strangers in need and resolve to improve your life (and thereby that of those around you). Stay safe and keep warm in your abodes 'til 2005.

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. Merry Christmas!




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