experts: real estate column Friday, June 14, 2013

North Shore on parallel up-trend with Metro Van

Overall North Shore demand has been moving up a little month over month this year with overall inventory still higher than last year.

By Alan  Skinner

Our discussion last month of a return to a more balanced market led to a realization that one person's idea of balance can very easily differ from another's. Just as individual visions of the future, our current position in a cycle and, yes, even one's hope for the lot of mankind may differ.

That last statement may seem overly dramatic, but it depends, I guess, on one's level of comfort (no, I don't mean in the sense of luxury) with their individual current status and belief in their particular future. Balance comes, not only from the belief of a dominant player or team of players (buyers or sellers) but also a rational belief in the correction of cycles. This pendulum-like motion is definitely a necessary and healthy thing.

Enough philosophical musing! Summertime is fast becoming a reality, a time when we traditionally see a lessening in the number of residential sale transactions. My personal belief is that we'll see a steady level of sales and that, when the "pent-up buyer" returns from their break come September, volumes of sales will start (continue?) to rise. Reasonable ...or just another of my delusions?

The 'up-trend' mentioned in our headline, which we are sharing with the aggregated numbers for Vancouver, is of a gradual nature price-wise and, as most market watchers would agree, has a greater stabling influence (likely more sustainable) on a market than does rapid growth.

Again to our 'Year to Date' figures for 2013. We now have the first 5 month figures 2013 vs. 2012. Better statistical information to help "define" our current year. North Van detached homes sold, down 8% from last year, attached (t/hses) down 12% and apartments down by 26% from 2012. Detached average prices down 2% and inventory now up by 22% [NB - last month it was up by 43%]. Average prices down 4% (t/hses) and up 1% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 19% higher than May 31st 2012 and (apt) down from the same date by 6%. The numbers here now reflect the activity over 5 months and figures are becoming more meaningful.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2013 has dropped by 23% from May 31st 2012. Average price of what has sold is virtually unchanged and inventory up 22% over May 31st 2012. On the condo side - attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are down 36% from 2012 at 28 vs. 44 units with an increase of 5% in average price. Active listings are up year over year from May 31st 2012 by 18% (59 vs. 50). Apartments reflect 68 sold in 2013 vs. 83 by May 31st 2012; with average price up 3% from May 31st 2012 and active listings up 9% from May 31st 2012.

Overall North Shore demand has been moving up a little month over month this year with overall inventory still higher than last year (exception - N/V apts at 6% lower). I continue using average YTD prices which is now becoming more meaningful as we get more months' stats to compare.

'SnapStats' (what price ranges are selling and which are not) is being very well received. I'm now forwarding the past 12 month trend for not only N and W/Van but ALL available metro neighbourhoods, as many requested. If any locations are not of interest, please ignore those areas.

So, visit my website to see and "hear" the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you... - the "go to" site for N/S R/Estate analysis and jump-off point for FULL market information.

Join those wishing to get the e-mail version of the "update" and SnapStats - send a request to; phone (604) 988-7368 or visit and you'll be added.

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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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