experts: real estate column Monday, September 11, 2006

Are We Waiting For Godot ... Or Who Knows?

Housing demand is alive and well and building its strength even as we speak.

By Alan  Skinner

There seems to be very little consensus on the state of the current market. Are we "going up", "going down" or "flat lining" and is the situation stable or ready to fluctuate? Would you laugh if I said, "This is healthy"? Laugh if you wish, but I do believe it is in fact refreshing to witness this overall admission as to not knowing what is transpiring. We’re entitled to our individual opinions just as the group is entitled to its "non-consensus". I’ll go further to reveal that this non-consensus extends to the Realtor community. Yes, gentle people, not every one of my peers agrees with me! Once again, a healthy state of affairs as we must all attempt to rationally defend our individual opinions.

I spoke at length, last Update, of the "distracted" marketplace as the prime contributing factor in the slowing down of sales and the leveling off of market values (plateauing). This August’s figures (YTD) vs. 2005 again bear out this sales slowdown. With the minor benefit of early September activity, I am still of the opinion that we will see a strengthening of demand by the time September moves offstage. Could I go as far as suggesting that we will witness a small swell of "pent up demand"? There, I just have. Of this however, I am sure; demand is alive and well and building its strength even as we speak. Supply, as you will note below, is up overall from this time last year. Again, I believe that much of this supply will be spoken for before the end of the month. Will it be well supplemented during September? We’ll see?

A small aside here. Many will note I’ve alluded to this before, but a large number of the opinions of the market are strongly influenced by what the "opiner" wishes to see. E.g. I haven’t bought and I’m hoping for a drop in values ... or, I want to sell in 2007/8 and therefore am hoping for price increases. If you hear an opinion from a friend or associate, try to divine the speaker’s personal wishes.

No more opinion for a moment, just results - Number of N/Van detached sales unchanged (year over year) – note, Aug/06 down 15% vs. Aug/05. Average prices +15% and inventory now up 15% over last year. On the attached (t/hse) front, sales numbers down 10% while apt sales were down 16%. Average prices up 18% (t/hse) and up by 14% for apartments. Still leveling off, but all prices clearly up over last year. Inventory (t/hse) up from ‘05, by 17%, and (apt) up from ’05 by 29%. Hence my "distraction" theory.

In W/Van, detached again show no change in number of sales 05/06 YTD. Average price +24% YTD and inventory stands at 8% higher than 2005. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold are up 7% YTD over 2005; average price change up 5%. Active listings down 24% from last year. Apts reflect 12% fewer sold vs. ‘05; with average prices up 41% and active listings now at 80 compared to 88 in ’05 (-9%). The North Shore maintains its sales pattern and its increased prices month over month from last year.

Enjoy the last few flashes of our glorious summer!

Remember that OnTopOfTheMarket.ca is the place to visit for North Shore R/E information. This work in progress strives to be the "go to" site for North Shore Real Estate analysis. A jumping off point for FULL market listing information. Please use it and continue your valuable feedback.

To join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this "update" - send a request now to alanskinner@shaw.ca and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca.

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

Related Links:

Alan Skinner

OnTopOfTheMarket.ca

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