experts: real estate column Thursday, February 08, 2007

North Shore Greening and Sustainability

Sustainability issues that jump to mind are, firstly, can the market sustain its "value" levels, however, far more importantly, can we sustain our quality of life (or improve it?).

By Alan  Skinner

Sustainability issues that jump to mind are, firstly, can the market sustain its "value" levels, however, far more importantly, can we sustain our quality of life (or improve it?).

An issue that I, as a Realtor, have for years been concerned about is the amount of paper we consume (let’s not get into the gasoline!). The main abuse is clearly the countless flyers, notepads, “I have just sold ... ” and the like, primarily intended to market the practitioner and keep their name front and centre. Assuming that 1 in 20 of these pieces gets at least a cursory glance (and ALL end up in the garbage – or at best recycling), this is of questionable socially responsibility. I stopped mailing out my “update” about 4 years ago and confined its distribution to a) an e-mail “opt-in” list – now over 600; b) the North Shore News; c) my own website and d) Ozzie Jurock’s website. I am more than pleased with the level of readership and the questions, comments and contact I receive as a result of this non-intrusive marketing. 2006 was my best year yet. Happy to say I featured in the Re/Max Crest’s top 18 awards –and am one of only 8 individual Realtors in that group vs. the other 10 who are heads of “teams” with up to 7 assistants.

This year I pledge to continue my personalized service and further reduce my business ecological “footprint”. A new initiative is the “radio” (podcast) library which I am creating. All “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments – visit my website for a “test drive”! Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail or call me.

“With 2007 listings emerging tentatively, it’s most likely that January ‘07 will be a low volume month!” – quote from Jan/07 Update. How did we do? Bear in mind that we’re comparing one month last year to one this year – average figures become more meaningful as a “year to date” comparison with “more” months emerges.

Now, the figures. Jan was indeed a quieter month than the prior year. Number of N/Van detached sales was 16% lower. Average prices +4% and inventory 20% higher at Jan 31 this year than last year. On the attached (t/hse and apt) front, sales numbers both down 3%. Average prices up 15% (t/hse) and up by 20% for apartments. Inventory (t/hse) down 3% from ‘06, and (apt) up from ’06 by 63%. Incidentally, apt inventory has been growing in the past months and this is the one area where price may be stagnant (or negative?).

In W/Van, detached number of sales up 13% (the contrarian). Average price down 10% (of the 40 or so homes sold) and inventory now at 3% higher than ‘06. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold are down 60% over 2006; average price change up 56% based on 2 sales in Jan. Active listings +5% from last year. Apartments reflect 40% fewer sold vs. ‘06; with average price up 41% (3 units sold) and active listings 9% lower. The North Shore demand is healthy with inventory improving a little but still not nearly enough for a balanced market. I maintain my belief that values continue to “level off”.

Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you... This work in progress strives to be the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for FULL market listing information.

To join the group subscribing to the e-mail version of this “update” - send a request now to (or from the website) and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit

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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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