experts: real estate column Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Meaningful Or Meaning 'Less'

North Vancouver average prices are still showing increases of between 1 and 3% per month in all types of accommodation. West Van is mixed with only townhomes and apartments showing a minor declining average price.

By Alan  Skinner

I always like the latter part of the year (not just because of plum pudding and eggnog) but because the annual figures become far more meaningful, i.e. year to date means 11 months out of 12 – by contrast to early February which reveals the “hardly helpful” one month, year to date ‘January’s 31 days’ stats. So, the picture painted in our final paragraph is going to be pretty indicative of 2007’s performance.

I did see a pre-release of stats for the Vancouver Sun article on Fraser Valley residential Real Estate. This highlights the average drop in house prices over the last couple of months. I have looked critically at N/Van and W/Van - Sep/Oct/Nov and see the opposite prevailing in N/Van where average prices are still showing increases of between 1 and 3% per month in all types of accommodation. W/Van is mixed (not surprising considering relatively few sales in each calendar month) with only t/homes and apartments showing a minor declining average price month to month – detached is still maintaining an approximately 1% per month rise. Thus Fraser Valley does not dictate our trend and my former argument of softening being increasingly evident as one moves away from the Vancouver epicenter, still holds water.

A short diversion regarding some interesting comments and discussion elicited by my last month’s “what you see or think you see” update and for these I thank you. I further thank my friend Doug for putting some of this feedback in perspective. The initial comment addressed the heightened responsibility of the headline writers to ensure that the casual reader (the term “skimmer” was used) was not likely to get an erroneous message because they didn’t read (or have the time to read) the entire piece. Something I learned from the more experienced/ academic input was that the reporter seldom writes the headline which is added by the editor with the “management” focus of inducing a greater interest in reading the article or, (my cynical input) increased readership/ newspaper sales? We did agree, however, that persuading busy human beings not to “skim” was an endeavour beyond any writer’s/ or editor’s capability.

Now actual “non headline” statistics for the North Shore! North Van: the uncanny 11% plus price trend has been broken. The YTD (year-to-date) figure comparison shows level to rising number of sales from last year – detached down marginally(1%) and attached (t/homes) up 4% and apartments up 12%. Detached average prices +12% and inventory now down by 16%. Average prices up 12% (t/hse) and up by 17% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 19% lower than ‘06 and (apt) up from ’06 by an amazing 61%. This defies the overall inventory pattern which had been lower in all categories but is caused by the many “new construction” units listed in November. Opportunity for apartment buyers? In West Vancouver, detached number of sales up 2%. Average price up 11% and inventory up 4% over ’06. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold are down 19% from 2006; average price up 25% based on 58 sales YTD. Active listings now up 35% over last year. Apartments reflect 5% increase in sales from ’06; with average price up slightly (2%) from last year and active listings down 11% from ‘06. North Shore demand is still healthy with inventory up in condos.

The recent snow which blanketed our homes (fleetingly) is an early reminder of our impending Season of Goodwill and Fellowship. May it be heart-warming, spent with our families and friends (or with them affectionately in mind). That is the easier part - but don’t forget providing warmth and cheer to strangers. Joy to the World is uplifting but let’s make Good King Wenceslas the more enduring message!

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 getting the e-mail version of this “update” - send a request now and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or Feel free to forward to a friend!

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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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