experts: real estate column Saturday, July 21, 2012

Much Warmer, But Not The Market

The softer Real Estate market has been ameliorated by warmer weather and the return of that shiny disc in the sky.

By Alan  Skinner

The softer Real Estate market has been ameliorated by warmer weather and the return of that shiny disc in the sky. This is what Summer is supposed to be! Ah, yes, the swings and slides of real life and, yes, the sad realization that we can't have everything going our way all the time. No, we are not kids, but our petulance often shows through when some of our expectations are thwarted.

Last month I picked on "the popular press" and the "rising prices 'good' - any decline 'bad'" syndrome. A recent article by Rob Carrick in the Globe and Mail, happily repudiates that generalization by highlighting the "silver linings" of some relief in house prices. Among the list of positives, he cites the benefits to first time buyers. It makes a good/ intelligent read.

As is patently evident from the year to date and current inventory figures below, number of sales is down (especially W/Van) and the inventories of unsold property are growing. Thus the supply is up and clearly the demand is down. Ergo, prices should be dropping apace. However, average YTD sales prices are holding their own and only the "must sell Sellers" are taking a hit on the price level they had wanted to achieve. Most others are accepting the delay in selling and many appear to have resigned themselves to being "unlikely sellers". [The price reductions are apparently too few and too small to induce the generally skittish buyers to buy]. The "sales results" will be followed closely over the coming months as we edge our way into the Fall.

Now to the summary of our North Shore results. North Van detached homes sold are down 'year to date' by 18% from this time last year, attached (t/hses) sold - down 20% and apartments down 3% from 2011. Detached - average price is 5% higher than 2011 and inventory June 30th, 2012 up 35% from 2011. Average prices up 6% (t/hses) and up 2% (apts). Inventory (t/hses) up 33% from June 30th, 2011 and (apt) up 13% from 2011. N/Van overall inventory at June 30th, 2012 is up 24% over 2011 and all categories in N/Van, down 13% in total sales '12 vs. '11.

In West Van, detached number of sales to date 2012 is down by 48% from last year. Average price up by 9% and inventory June 30th, 2012 up 17% from last year. On the condo side - sales of attached (t/hses) are up, at 50 vs. 38 units; average price is now 18% higher. Active listings from June 30th, 2011 (55 vs. 33). Apartments sold are down from 2011 (96 vs. 128), with average price 13% lower than' 11 (remember the small sample size) and active listings up 2% from June 30th, 2011(112 vs. 110). Overall 15% higher inventory with softer demand evident - particularly detached properties. Some 41% fewer units sold YTD vs. 2011 (530 vs. 898).

An exciting new addition (for those who relish actual results - number of homes sold, average price and inventory). I will be forwarding the past 12/13 month trend for both N and W/Van. If you are interested in what price ranges are selling and which are not, you will love this!

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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