experts: real estate column Friday, May 13, 2005

With a spring in our step!

The demand for homes on the North Shore is high and, although the number of units changing hands is generally below that of last year, the average prices continue to forge upward in all segments.

By Alan  Skinner

Yes, Spring is fully with us - flowers, dandelions (often wish these were universally included in the category flora - then I might be praised for my green thumb!), lawn cutting and lawn signs - both "for sale" and "sold". Indeed a season of rejuvenation and immense activity. The demand for homes on the North Shore is high and, although the number of units changing hands is generally below that of last year, the average prices continue to forge upward in all segments. The detached N/Shore home under $400k is almost an extinct species with only 5 or 6 evident up to the $450k level. The question of affordability is one I hear from folk on a most regular basis. While it is often raised, I see little or no evidence of it cramping the style of our market - folks, there appear to be sufficient funds, evident desire and continuing low mortgage rates to sustain (and raise) value in our North Shore's green and pleasant land - to borrow once again from William Blake.

I must tell you, that among my fellow Realtors, we are daily experiencing "highers", "fasters" and surprising happenings in home sales. With this in mind, it becomes more imperative to keep abreast of numbers, dollars, percentages and trends. I am today launching to provide a place for folk to visit for North Shore specific information. It is a work in progress which I am committed to turning into the "go to" site for North Shore Real Estate analysis. It will also be a jumping off point for FULL market listing information and provide for a no obligation estimate of value for your personal Real Estate assets. Please visit, and revisit, over the balance of this month. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Now for the YTD figures. Number of N/Van detached sales was down 12% from the same period last year. Average prices +9% and inventory down 7% over last year (an interesting and, I believe significant factor). On the attached (t/homes) front, sales numbers up slightly (4%) while apartment sales continue their growth at 11%. Average prices up 3% (t/hses) and 18% (apt). Inventories up 45% and 22% resp. Demand here (buyers) remains strong and inventory is not increasing at any appreciable rate.

W/Van detached shows a more definite pattern with a 25% drop in number of sales; average price continues its gradual rise at +5% and inventory only 1% above 2004. The condo picture remains mixed - Attached (t/hses) down 35% in number of sales; average prices even stronger (up 69%). Active listings 43 vs 34 last year (+26%). Apartments with 82 sold vs. 60 last year (+36%); in the same vein average prices up 41% and active listings now dropping (-5%). The strength of these trends should become evident toward the end of the 2nd Q.

Finally, please view my North Shore News "Open House" ad. I do hope you enjoy the new "masthead" and I ask your forgiveness for my self-indulgence in the use of my beloved Grouse Grind as a personal allegory for the effort I pledge on my clients' behalf and the achievement I believe we all wish to, and will, attain.

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

Any questions regarding the market, decisions, contemplations, opinions of my musings, are welcomed via e-mail (or 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:

Keeping Realtors Honest
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How well do we stack up?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Resistance to change and compliance delay
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Of urban planning and municipal wisdom
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yes, it's official - demand is rising
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

All articles by Alan  Skinner

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