experts: real estate column Monday, March 08, 2010

What a Ride for Vancouver and Canada!

I looked back at my opening comments last month and find it somewhat unbelievable that the 2010 Olympics are part of history.

By Alan  Skinner

I looked back at my opening comments last month and find it somewhat unbelievable that the 2010 Olympics are part of history (although we will still be watching the Paralympics starting Mar 12th).

That we, Canada, achieved a stunning 26 medals with over half of them displaying the "Midas touch" is a dream realized, and realized in our backyard - literally! My optimism in that Update was rewarded when I said "I have faith that Hockey will be reinforced as Canada's game!" ... .despite the near heart-stopping roller-coaster of the latter stages of the final game!!

My 7 fellow "flags" volunteers and I bounced up and down like 5th graders in B.C. Place Stadium as we "rehearsed" the I.O.C. delegate seating arrangements when that historic moment played out on the 2 giant screens. What followed later was another of your scribe's special Olympic moments. I was seated next to and chatting with the 2012 London Olympic "John Furlong" only to discover later (Tues evening while watching TV) that my British buddy, Seb (we shared a couple of beer) was in fact Lord Sebastian Coe K.B.E ! Probably not up to repeating his 3min 43sec mile today in his early 50's. Our heartfelt good wishes to London's 2012 and Sochi's 2014 games!

Now back to earth (or land and residential structures) anyway. As I intimated last month, the "distraction" of the above experience has resulted in lower overall sales than the average month on the North Shore. There were still over 250 sales in all. I would caution that the dramatic YTD comparisons should be viewed in light of the early 2009's dismal showing.

So here we go with the first 2 months of 2010 results for the North Shore.

North Van detached homes sold are up by 108% from the previous year, attached (t/hses) up by 243% and apartments up by 96% from '09. Detached average prices up 35% and inventory Feb 28th, down by 36%. Average prices up 24% (t/hse) and up 27% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 43% lower than '09 and (apt) marginally down from '09. All N/Van inventory is still lower than 2009. Demand is still strong and, unless we see a significant number of new properties coming on the market, this will continue to keep sale prices solidly in this upper range.

In West Van, detached number of sales is up by 75% from '09. Average price up by 7% and inventory Feb 28th down 15% from '09. On the condo side - attached (t/hses) sold are up 1200% from 2009 at 13 vs 1 unit; average price up 126%. Active listings are up from Feb 28th (46 vs. 33). Apartments reflect 24 sold vs. 8 during '09 - a 200% increase; with average price 13% lower than '09 for the 2 months and active listings down 15% from Feb 28th '09. Overall North Shore demand continues to be strong with inventory generally lower than 2009.

Again, comparing the dismal figures of early '09 with the more substantial results of 2010 (especially so few months) gives a distorted picture. Continue to hold judgment until we have more months and are well over the Olympics.

Again, visit my website to see and "hear" the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you... www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca - 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 toalanskinner@shaw.ca and you'll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca




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