Takin' It All For Granted - So What?
by Alan Skinner
Monday, March 07, 2005
While I could wax philosophical and revisit a pet topic of how we NorthShorers don't really appreciate the life and blessings afforded us here, I instead allude to the somewhat deep-rooted belief that our R/E investments here are growing in value and will continue to do so...and, know what? I don't believe this is some sort of misplaced optimism. Far from it.
Having received, earlier this year, our Assessment notices, we invariably speculate - what could I sell it for? A point of caution here - most people (we human beings) have a gut feeling as to what our homes are worth (or what we would like to believe they are worth). When a comment such as "average prices may be up 5-10%" is made, there is so often a tendency to take the 10% figure and add it to the previously believed value. Compound this with the "guesstimate" of what it was worth last year. I say "guesstimate" respectfully as there is no truly reliable way of knowing what it was worth last March (unless it actually sold last March!)
I went back in my data base of some 7 years of "updates" and sought out this quote - "I was involved last week in the sale of a home in the Capilano corridor (to a builder), which will be demolished to rebuild, and has taken place at the "groundbreaking" (please excuse the pun) price of over $400,000 - who says we are not in a new era?" - when was this written? - May '02, almost 3 years ago. My point is that, I am sure, as a Realtor, I am not alone in currently searching for older property in this same area for clients wanting to demolish and build - the upper limit - low to mid $600's. Yes, so much is taken for granted. A word of caution: do not extrapolate this to infer that the entire North Shore is up 50% in 3 years.
Now the figures. N/Van detached sales for the year to date are down 16% from the same period last year. Average prices +9% and inventory up 28% over this time last year. On the condo side (t/houses and apartments) sales numbers up (25% and 4% respectively). Average prices up 3% and 18% resp. and inventory up 68% and 101% resp. The demand will need to be sustained to handle this inventory - I believe this demand is up to it - especially on the condo side.
W/Van detached is a little less pronounced with a 26% drop in number of sales; average price at +3% and inventory only 8% above 2004. # of sales will pick up here. The condo picture is mixed -but please remember my caution regarding limited transactions in T/home sales -61% (5 units vs. 13 last yr); average prices appear to be rocketing - same distortion - over $1mm vs. $600's last year. Let's hold our applause. Active listings 39 vs. 28 last year (+39%). Apartment sales up by 34%, average prices up 23% and active listings at 50 vs. 49 last year. Interpretation - stable.
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