experts: real estate column Monday, November 08, 2010

Whadd'ya Say When So Little Is Happening? ... And The Silver Lining For Buyers

When numbers of sales of property are dropping to 60/65% levels the amount of "chatter" on the news waves does drop in sympathy.

By Alan  Skinner

When numbers of sales of property are dropping to 60/65% levels the amount of "chatter" on the news waves does drop in sympathy. In the same way, if those contemplating acquisition or "re-homing" collectively drop their focus on that exercise, it can feel as if the world has ground to a halt. No, I am not looking for sympathy as all Realtors see their piece of the pie decline, but I personally can empathize with those who have entered the profession in the last couple of years (or, heaven forbid, the last six months). Having almost 20 years under my belt and having experienced a few of these shrunken sales markets helps one with a perspective on the current phase in the cycle and a confident belief in the phases to follow.

The saving grace is the recognition by the potential seller and buyer alike that they will be best served by experienced practitioners who have been through a variety of markets and have the expertise to deal with the added sensitivity of negotiation in the higher supply and lower decisive market. Discussion of market price reality is not one which the practitioner and the seller relish but is a fact that must not be shied away from and represents the difference between a practitioner of greater value and one of less.

Fortunately there are a good number of realists among those wanting/ needing to sell. Indeed the "move up" seller will generally understand the fact that the overall market downward price adjustment may work in their favour along the lines of "my $500,000 condo may have dropped to $450,000 but last year's $800,000 detached home may well be acquired at the $720,000 level" - combine this with the oft seen phenomenon of greater (percentage wise) drops in higher priced markets than those nearer the entry level. I have alluded in the past to a "lower confidence" (nervous) phase and continue to see a lull in the high demand for North Shore ownership. It is precisely this phenomenon that opens for potential buyers a significant window of opportunity.

I continue tracking the number of listings in both N and W Vancouver. As mentioned before we witnessed steady increases in properties for sale from around February to late June and then a period of decline. Using "Detached" listings the high - WV 560's late June and currently Nov 1 433.

NV 480's late June and currently Nov 1 339.

Now October 2010 YTD figures for our North Shore. North Van detached homes sold are off by 14% from the same period of the previous year, attached (t/hses) down 20% from '09 and apartments down 12% from '09. Detached average prices up 7% and inventory Oct 31st, up by 35%. Average prices up 6% (t/hses) and up 9% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 52% higher than 09 and (apt) up 22% from '09. N/Van inventory at Oct 31st is still significantly higher than 2009.

In West Van, detached number of sales (YTD) is up by 2% from '09. Average price up by 19% and inventory Oct 31st up by 9% from '09. On the condo side attached (t/hses) sold are up from 2009 to 66 vs. 45 units; average price up 31%. Active listings up from Oct 31st (45 vs. 40). Apartments reflect 141 sold vs. 140 during 09; with average price 12% higher than '09 and active listings up 31% from Oct 31st 09.

I'm strongly of the opinion that there are solid opportunities for judicious buying below asking prices. Many properties languish on the market with motivated owners and strangely, many buyers appear reticent to test this level of motivation. If you've been fence sitting, think about a "testing" offer. Call me; I'm happy to give my opinion of market value of any property but I do stress that none of us know the market value until the negotiation is complete and both parties are in total agreement. This is not a time to be timid.

With Thanksgiving and Halloween behind us we have less than50 days (and not all shopping ones) to Christmas. Let's plan now to make the Season less stressful and more enjoyable by eliminating the last minute rushes. Can we?

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

E-mail this story to a friend    Print this story   Save This Page to

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

Related Articles:

Have you tried these JUROCK.COM FEATURES?



Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Check out this week's Jurock Real Estate Insider Special deal


Gibsons waterfront


Don't Worry About Greece ... Worry About The EU



   Privacy | Security | FAQ | Site Map | Masthead
Contact Us   
Copyright © 2014 Jurock Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved