Interest In Interesting Times

Interest In Iteresting Times

Confidence in our North Shore Real Estate is returning and so is the desire to acquire.

One of my recent listings attracted 3 offers on the day after the first showing…. and, yes, the open houses are again well attended.

The March and April increases in number of sales are of some significance. Reason – the abovementioned return of confidence assisted by the currently prevailing low interest rates. These are at historic lows and the Bank of Canada has, in the past weeks reduced its “bank rate” to the amazingly low level of 0.25% – a first in this country’s history. (This is the rate at which the BOC lends “overnight” money to the commercial banks).  Those banks’ prime lending rate is now sitting at 2.25% and mortgage loan rates have dropped to as low as 3.69% in some isolated cases for a 5 year term and 2.85% for a “variable rate”  mortgage.

In practical terms this translates to (for example) a 5 year term mortgage of $600,000 taken out this time last year which would have attracted a monthly payment of $3256/month, with a 35year amortization (35 yr full payout horizon).  The same mortgage today would attract a monthly payment $2592/month. This is a saving of $664 pm or almost $8,000 per year!  On each $100,000 of borrowing the saving would be about $110 pm or $1325 per year. If, however, one decided to opt for a variable rate mortgage at Prime plus 0.6% (presently 2.85%) that saving would be $167 pm or over $2000 per year.

Remember all of the above has occurred in a one year time frame. Is this significant? – you bet it is ….and the variable rate is made further attractive based on the Bank of Canada’s recent statement that it “won’t be changing rates until after June 2010”.  I am indebted to my colleague and friend Kerry Casidy of Ambro and Associates, Mortgage Brokers for these calculations. I have reworded some of the comments – accurately, I hope.

Overall North Shore demand is improving (confidence certainly returning) with almost all inventories higher than this time last year. April is markedly the strongest month thus far in 2009 and the “bargain basement” purchases evident in the past few months are becoming scarcer – i.e. cheeky, low ball offers are receiving less respect! Remember too, as I’ve said before, a lower average price for one 4 month period vs the corresponding period a year before may well be distorted if a case can be made for generally “lower end” homes being the ones that are selling.

Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments.  Continue my commitment to keep you… www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca – the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for FULL market listing information.

To join the group getting the e-mail version of this “update” – send a request now toalanskinner@shaw.ca and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca

May 09 Numbers

May 09 Numbers

And here come the YTD 4 mth 2009 vs. 2008 figures for our North Shore

North Van detached homes sold down by 32% from last year, attached (t/homes) down 22% and apartments down by 34% from ‘08. Detached average prices -18% and inventory Apr 30th, up by 11%. Average prices down 15% (t/hse) and down by 19% (apts). Inventory (t/hse) 48% higher than ’08 and (apt) down from ‘08 by 2%. While still higher than last year,  these inventories are starting to subside. Demand and the general level of sales, however, is clearly increasing month by month.

In West Van, detached number of sales YTD has dropped, Apr 30th by 36% from ‘08. Average price down 24% and inventory Apr 30th up 2% over ‘08. On the condo side – attached (t/hses) sold has dropped to 4 vs 23 units last year; average price down 32%.  Active listings are marginally up from ‘08 (43 vs. 42).  Apartments sold reflect a 37% drop YTD vs ‘08; with average price down 19% and active listings up 53% from ‘08.

Overall North Shore demand is improving (confidence certainly returning) with almost all inventories higher than this time last year. April is markedly the strongest month thus far in 2009 and the “bargain basement” purchases evident in the past few months are becoming scarcer – i.e. cheeky, low ball offers are receiving less respect! Remember too, as I’ve said before, a lower average price for one 4 month period vs the corresponding period a year before may well be distorted if a case can be made for generally “lower end” homes being the ones that are selling.

Again, visit my website to see and “hear” the new developments.  Continue my commitment to keep you… www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca – the “go to” site for North Shore Real Estate analysis and jumping off point for FULL market listing information.

To join the group getting the e-mail version of this “update” – send a request now toalanskinner@shaw.ca and you’ll be assured receipt; phone me at (604) 988-7368 or visit www.OnTopOfTheMarket.ca

Alan

Podcasts

North Shore Real Estate Radio

This year I pledge to continue my personalized service and further reduce my business ecological “footprint”. A new initiative is the radio (podcast) library which I am creating.

All North Vancouver Real Estate “Updates”, reports and information articles, checklists etc. will be archived on my website and available for download or desktop listening 24/7. You can access the information you seek when the spirit moves and not when someone pushes yet another flyer into your mailbox. I am most excited about these developments. Input as to the topics for “programming” you feel would be of interest is strongly sought. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call me 604 988-7368

Click on the “Launch Podcast Player” Icon in the top right of this website to listen now

North Vancouver Real Estate

Podcasts

8 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-163″ title=”8 Costy Mistakes When Selling Your Home” src=”http://www.ontopofthemarket.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/8-Costy-Mistakes-When-Selling-Your-Home.png” alt=”8 Costy Mistakes When Selling Your Home” width=”475″ height=”183″ />
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<td valign=”top”>8 Costly Mistakes when selling your home.
Basing asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Often sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. Ifyour home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favour of other larger or better homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because “nobody wants to buy a house that nobody else wants”. The result is low offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than it might have.Failing to “Showcase” the home. A property that is not clean or well maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t spruce up the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as Realtors can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment – fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades are cost effective. Always consult with your Realtor BEFORE committing to upgrading your home.

Choosing the wrong Realtor or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.

Using the “Hard Sell” during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to “try on” a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do this if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good Realtors let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Many sales are lost by overselling. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favour of a less expensive home without the features.

Failing to take the first offer seriously.Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency not to take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced Realtors know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. The home is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.

Not knowingyour rights and obligations.The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced Realtor who knows the “ins and outs” fully explain the contract you are about to sign, or retain a lawyer to review it before acceptance.

Failure to effectively market the property.Good marketing opens the door that exposes the property to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The two most obvious marketing tools (open houses and print advertising) are only moderately effective. Just 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and advertising studies show that only 3% of people purchased their home because they called on a print ad! Agents use these tools to attract future prospects, not to sell the house. The right Realtor will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.</td>
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