experts: real estate column Monday, November 01, 1999

NORTH SHORE STATISTICS CORRECTED - DEBATED?

By Alan  Skinner

A recent Vancouver Sun headline read ?Tenth month of good news for Real Estate? and I don?t disagree. Overall firming of prices and lowering of inventories continue. But (?never? said Miss Milne, ?start a sentence with ?but? ? - however I?ll make this one exception) that same article fell afoul of a major error (not grammatical though!). Those who regularly read my update know that I continually rail against claims made based on average prices using small samples (too few sales!). But (why not!) the Sun article took the 43 West Van detached sales (which included an unprecedented 6 sales over $1million ? 2 over $2 million) and, after comparing the resultant $738,000 average price with a poorly represented ?big dollar? month last year, declared the ?improvement? of $212,900 or 40% to be ?staggering?. When the equally statistically insignificant 30 or 40 sales in November show a $150,000 drop, will ?reportage? license reveal this to be ?dismal or devastating?? I wonder?

It is also an interesting aside that one August sale (of a mere $2,780,000) helped October ?stagger? owing to delayed reporting. The true significance here is that this many higher priced homes sold (despite an actual drop in the number of homes sold). Please beware of ?significance? attributed to reporting inconsistencies and small numbers. Other than the foregoing, both North and West Vancouver remain active and stable markets with the good news for sellers being the month over month drop in inventory (although inventory of North Van apartments is still significantly higher than Oct/98). A short word on year to date sales numbers. All segments are up. N/Van (Detached +18%, Attached +34%, Apartments +44%) - W/Van (Detached +17%, Attached +209%, Apartments +25%) ? all in all this represents (dare I say it !) a staggering 513 (+ 26%) more buyers on the North Shore so far in ?99 than at the same point in ?98 (2490 vs 1977).

I believe that statistic is significant. I remain bullish as to the new millennium seeing continued price firming.




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Recent Articles by this columnist:

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All articles by Alan  Skinner

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http://www.alanskinner.com/

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