experts: real estate column Monday, September 12, 2011

Is Patience Truly a Virtue?

Good weather is a great distraction unless you are wishing to sell your current home.

By Alan  Skinner

Good weather is a great distraction unless you are wishing to sell your current home. When the arrival of summer has been long in coming, that distraction is exaggerated. While both North and West Van have however shown monthly (and 'year to date') increases in number of sales 2011 vs 2010, activity has slowed over the past few weeks, demanding patience on the part of the sellers. The property seekers have, of late, exercised a great deal of patience. Apparently virtue has changed sides!

The question this begs is "When will a higher level of demand return?" and the answer......? West Van, like the West Side, retains a modicum of demand, but North Van is a greater victim of this distraction. Let's consider the economic facts. Interest rates remain low, credit has not been withdrawn. Only the "willing buyer" is absent (distracted?/vacationing?) and here is the key. That party will return in the not too distant future and , until then, the astute buyer who has stepped up to the plate will be/has been able to negotiate their best deal. Believe me, those deals will evaporate soon when the distraction abates. Move without delay and with the help of an experienced negotiator!

An aside here (but directly in line with the foregoing) is the fact that B.C. out-of-town property is in good supply and anxious to be a partner in that negotiation waltz. I have personally been amazed at the deals which are appearing in the Okanagan and especially those areas considered "wine country". Research the offers made by the Mainland Chinese buyers in these areas, of well established wineries (Painted Rock etc). Call me for the name of a good negotiator in an area you may have been giving consideration - vacation or retirement wise.

Now to our North Shore 2011 and the 8 month picture. North Van detached homes sold are up by 32% from the previous year, attached (t/hses) sold - down incrementally and apartments now 4% up from 2010. Detached - average price is 7% higher than this time '10 and inventory Aug 31st, 2011 down by 20%. Average prices up 3% (t/hses) and down 2% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 2% higher than Aug 31st, 2010 and (apt) up 3% from 2010. N/Van overall inventory at Aug 31st, 2011 is rising, but still lower (-7%) than 2010 and again N/Van, 16% higher in total number of sales '10 to '11 (1534 vs. 1774).

In West Van, detached number of sales for 2011 is up by 86% from last year. Average price up by 18% and inventory Aug 31st, 2011 down by 15% from last year. On the condo side - sales of attached (t/hses) are lower at 45 vs. 54 units; average price down 20%. Active listings down from Aug 31st, 2010 (25 vs. 44). Apartments sold are up 45% over 2010; with average price 18% higher than '10 and active listings down 24% from Aug 31st, 2010. Overall markedly lower inventory and strong demand remains, at the upper end price-wise.

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 those wishing to get 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

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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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