experts: real estate column Thursday, January 16, 2014

That year is past, long live the new year!

Those who have read the past few editions of this monthly Update will see no surprises in our 2013 twelve month results

By Alan  Skinner

Those who have read the past few editions of this monthly Update will see no surprises in our 2013 twelve month results, so may as well move on. Just kidding - I'm only trying to show off a) the consistency of market trends or b) demonstrate the fact that we are not currently undergoing any reversal of direction but are keeping the course we have been identifying based on the strengthening results of the past months. Yes, cycles are alive and well and doing what cycles do!

Unlike clock pendulums (should that be pendula? - I think not), we have times when the pendulum seems to be traveling through a 1/2 cycle on steroids or at other times at a theatrical "slo-mo" pace. The fact we need to grasp is that, whether the pace/intensity suits our personal plans or wishes, the model is still working and is obedient to our collective demands and divestment wishes. The embarrassing (?) thing is that, despite our belief/pride in our "uniqueness" we are more inclined to make collective decisions as a group/pack (?)

Why be embarrassed? We are only exhibiting our need to be in a 'comfort zone'. Not an evil aspiration at all. We eschew uncertainty and do so by seeking out others whose decisions parallel those goals we want to achieve. We don't seem to be too annoyed when the goal that we are seeking is shared by that group and causes the "winner" to pay 2%, 5%, 10% or more than we would have had to pay a year, 6 months ago or, maybe, say, on December 12th 2013. If this type of comment in any way offends, remember there is always the "safety" of the group that says - 'OK, I'll wait for the return to the bottom of the trough we have recently left'. The history of the past 20, 25, 40 or 50 years should be somewhat persuasive as to that likelihood. Our propensity (need) for immigrant attraction coupled with the wishes of our offspring will see to that, despite a deluded yearning by those craving a return to "the good old days". Rather than that craving, let's focus our yearning on, for example - education, ethical behaviour and decency. (Click here for graph of market trends)

An excellent report released in December 2013 addresses the anticipated growth in major residential real estate markets, and is well worth reading. (Click here)

And now to our final figures for 2013 and a comparison with 2012. North Van detached homes sold are up 18% from last year, attached (t/hses) up from last year by 15% and apartments up 2%. The detached average price almost unchanged and inventory now down by 20% from 2012. Average prices down 1% (t/hses) and up 3% for (apts). Inventory (t/hses) 91 vs. 94 (down 3%) from Dec 31st 2012 and (apt) up 6% from last year for the same date.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD for 2013 is now up by 26% from Dec 31st 2012. Average price of what has sold is almost identical to last year and inventory now down by 8% from Dec 31st 2012. On the condo side - attached (t/hses) sold 2013 are now up by 40% from 2012 at 90 vs. 64 units with a 5% drop in average price. Active listings are down year over year from Dec 31st 2012 by 29% (31 vs. 44). Apartments reflect 159 sold in 2013 vs. 159 in 2012 (NC); with average price up 3% from Dec 31st 2012 and active listings now 4% down from Dec 31st 2012.

West Vancouver and North Vancouver continue with solid sales performance in all home types and we do see this progressing for 2014. Inventory is generally down, in some cases quite dramatically. Thus we should see existing demand causing that reduced inventory to shrink further - proviso: that we do not see a major increase in new listings.

'SnapStats' (what price ranges are selling and which are not) continues to be 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.

Do visit the websites to see and "hear" the new developments. I continue my commitment to keep you... www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca - 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 alanskinner@shaw.ca; phone (604) 626-2526 or visit either/both www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca and www.HomesOfProvenance.com and you'll be added.

I often feel that the word "happy" as in Happy New Year is a little trite and therefore would like to modify my wishes a little - may 2014 bring to you and those you love peace of mind and assist each of us to move closer to our individual, and our shared collective goals.




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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

Related Links:

Alan Skinner

RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook Report 2014

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